Cicely Tyson Dead at 96: Hollywood Mourns Shocking Death of 'Sounder' Actress

Actress Cicely Tyson passed away on Thursday at the age of 96.

The death of the admired Oscar-nominated actress who starred in "Sounder," "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and "The Trip to Bountiful," was announced by her longtime manager Larry Thompson.

"With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy," Thompson said in her statement, per ABC 11.

Cicely Tyson's cause of death is yet to be provided.

Cicely Tyson Movies and TV Shows, Influence and More

Cicely Tyson, who won the Tony Awards and Emmy Award for her TV shows and movie roles, was a one-time model who started her career in small roles but gained fame in the early 70s, just when Black women began to get lead roles.

The actress didn't want to accept parts just because of the salary. She explained in an interview with The Associated Press in 2013, "I'm very selective as I've been my whole career about what I do."

"Unfortunately, I'm not the kind of person who works only for money. It has to have some real substance for me to do it."

That same year, Cicely also told The New York Times that she couldn't afford the luxury of being just a Hollywood star, so she chose to use her career as a platform to address racial issues she was born into.

Throughout her career, she was able to address social issues like race and gender.

She also told People magazine in 2016, "I realized very early on when I was asked certain questions or treated in a certain way that I needed to use my career to address those issues."

Cicely claimed that the sacrifices she made in selecting only low-paid but meaningful roles, which also earned her achievement awards including a Presidential Medal of Honor, made everything worth it.

She also chronicled her decades-long career in her first memoir, "Just As I Am," which was released last Tuesday.

Cicely Tyson's Guardian Angel

On Twitter, Tyler Perry trended because of one major thing she did for Cicely Tyson.

One part of her memoir revealed how the TV producer was too generous to the actress ever since they worked on the "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" in 2005.

Cicely wrote about the time Tyler found out how little she was paid in her previous movies, which made "his mouth fell open."

"From then on, he decided to double and sometimes even triple or quadruple, my asking price for any role he requested that I play," Tyson revealed.

Cicely Tyson Tributes

In a lengthy statement on his Facebook page, Tyler Perry revealed how the news "brought me to my knees."

According to the dad-of-one, he was sitting on his table and had an overwhelming feeling of wanting to watch "Miss Jane Pittman."

"I hadn't seen the movie in years. I didn't even understand the feeling to turn it on, but I did anyway," Perry shared.

Less than 12 minutes into the movie, Oprah Winfrey called to tell him what happened.

Meanwhile, other stars mourn Cicely Tyson's death.

Zendaya tweeted, "Today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest ever to do it." Shonda Rhimes, who worked with the actress for "How To Get Away With Murder," shared disbelief over the news of the actress' passing. "I really need this not to be true," she wrote.

Viola Davis, who was Anneliese Keating on Shonda's show and Cicely's daughter, expressed her devastation and heartbreak because she was "everything to her."

Viola claimed how Cicely made her feel loved, seen and valued in a world "where there is still a cloak of invisibility" for "dark chocolate girls."

Gabourey Sibide also reacted to Tyson's death and said: "There's probably no better a way to honor Cicely Tyson than by learning her story."

For his part, Neil deGrasse Tyson said goodbye to "a force of nature unto herself - in person, on stage, and the screen."

READ MORE: Cloris Leachman Dead at 94: Emmy, Oscar Winner Died in Her Sleep

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