March 16, 2023
Photo by: (Left) Cicely Tyson by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images. (Middle) Eartha Kitt by Gilles Petard/Redferns. (Right) Pam Grier by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images.
Several women have significantly altered the game as we look back on the triumphs in film and television.
TV One is grateful to honor and reflect on the careers of women like Cicely Tyson, Eartha Kitt, Diahann Carroll, Nichelle Nichols, and Pam Grier!
Let’s continue to take the necessary time to recognize these trailblazers who improved the film and television industries as we continue to recognize Women’s History Month.
1. Cicely Tyson
First on our list is none other than Cicley Tyson!
During her career, Cecily Tyson has devoted herself to presenting strong African American women on stage and screen. She infused her characters with humanity and respect to show a softer, more human like side to Black women characters.
She kept performing on stage as well. She appeared in more than 100 films, television shows, and theatrical productions during the course of her lifetime.
The next women we’d like to recognize her efforts is none other than Eartha Kitt!
If you know her legacy, then you KNOW she was nothing short of an international icon!
Eartha wasn’t only renowned for her brilliant singing and acting career that spanned six decades, but she was also a well-respected campaigner who wasn’t afraid to challenge status quo Hollywood, and America as a whole.
Kitt entertained packed houses in cabarets and nightclubs both domestically and overseas throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She became well-known later in the decade for her portrayal of Catwoman in the Batman television series.
If you follow the trends of Hollywood A-List actresses, then you are familiar with Diahann Carroll!
The late actress made a path of firsts from the mid-1950s until her death in October.
She was the first black woman to win a Tony Award for outstanding actress in a main musical role and the first Black woman to have her own TV show where she did not portray a domestic servant.
She was well-known on Broadway, in cabaret shows, in Las Vegas, but most significantly in films and on television.
The fourth woman that we’d like to honor is Nichelle Nichols!
Nichols, who played Communication Officer Lieutenant Uhura on the well-known science fiction television series Star Trek, was the first African-American woman to portray a major role on television.
It is impossible to exaggerate Nichols’ influence on American culture and the TV industry. Her work on the widely beloved show even gave her the opportunity to work with NASA as a recruiter for women, and other minority astronauts for the space shuttle program!
Last but certainly not least on our list is the honorable Pam Grier!
Dating back to the 1970s, Grier has been on a long-term mission to properly represent Black women throughout her career.
With iconic roles such as Coffy, Foxy Brown, Sheba under the actress’ belt, she became a poster child of showing Black women powerful, sensual, and confident.
In an interview, Grier shared that through her roles such as Coffy, Foxy Brown, and Sheba she gave Black women a “level of confidence.”
Who is your favorite actress that changed the film/tv industry? Let us know in the comment section below!
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