Completing an already exciting list of honorees including Queen Latifah, Zoe Saldana, Mary J. Blige and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, ESSENCE is excited to announce as part of its 40th Anniversary celebration Academy Award nominee Cicely Tyson as the recipient of the Legend Award at the third annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.
The event will take place during Oscar Week on Thursday, March 4, in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Cicely Tyson will join past ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Legend Award honorees Ruby Dee and Diahann Carroll as pioneers who have paved the way and broken barriers for African- American actresses in Hollywood.
“Cicely Tyson is an icon who has transcended time with classic performances that have touched our hearts and made us proud,” said ESSENCE editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray. In 1972, Cicely Tyson received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the critically acclaimed movie Sounder and won two Emmy Awards (Outstanding Lead Actress & Actress of the Year) for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman in 1974. Tyson’s roles in films like Roots, King, A Woman Called Moses and The Marva Collins Story have all brought meaning and vision to real life American stories and have garnered several Emmy Awards for her lead and supporting roles.
In 2005, Cicely Tyson joined the then budding Hollywood director Tyler Perry for his first feature film “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and again in 2006 for “Madea’s Family Reunion” which are both adaptations of Perry’s hit stage plays.
Ms. Tyson has used her career to not only entertain but as a platform to uplift and educate the African- American community. In 1995, the Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts opened in East Orange, New Jersey, named in her honor. The school, which serves one of New Jersey’s most underprivileged African-American communities, helps to teach and develop budding actors and artists.