November 19, 2018
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Cicely Tyson is still killing the game at 93 years old. On Sunday, at the 2018 Governors Awards, she became the first ever Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar. And it’s about time!
The actress has delivered time and time again in some of our favorite movies, like Diary of a Mad Black Woman, The Help, Roots, A Lesson Before Dying, and so many other worth seeing movies. To date, Cicely has won two Emmys, a Tony and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In her acceptance speech, she recalls before moving to Hollywood 45 years ago, stopping by a longtime friend’s house to share the news with him about her first big movie. He told her that she would be nominated for an Academy Award, and she laughed in response.
Tyson was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for that movie at the 1973 Academy Awards for the movie Sounder.
Tyler Perry, who introduced Tyson at the Awards had such beautiful words for her and about the part she’s played for African Americans on screen with her dynamic roles.
“African Americans hold Cicely in such high regard, she is a queen to us…she would only do roles that served us.”
Quincy Jones, Oprah and Ava DuVernay all paid tribute to the legend on her honorary Oscar.
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Not enough words to describe the enormity of last night in Hollywood at the #GovernorsAward. When Ms. Tyson asked if I’d present to her, I was floored. She’s been a champion of mine since my very first film “I Will Follow.” I was beyond thrilled to hand her her long-overdue Oscar. Something she has wanted for so long. For my speech, I asked for one word to describe Ms. Tyson from many of us who adore her. Magnificent words flowed in. Whoopi Goldberg – Platinum-Standard Lupita Nyong’o – Vibrant Taraji Henson – A treasure Aunjanue Ellis – Unparalleled Regina King – Authentic Cynthia Erivo – Regal Shonda Rhimes – Legendary Anika Noni Rose – Our Gift Gabrielle Union – Unapologetic Amandla Steinberg – Groundbreaking Jada Pinkett Smith – Legendary Gugu Mbatha Raw – Trailblazing Kerry Washington – Divine Viola Davis – Our Muse Oprah Winfrey said without hesitation. “Noble. She is nobility personified.” Ms. Tyson is all those things. She is everything. May God continue to bless her life. She turns 95 next month. What a Queen.
“Her work, grace, dignity, class, humility and profound professionalism firmly placed her on the pedestal of Hollywood royalty, and now, at long last, I could not be more honored to say that tonight, Cicely Tyson receives her more than well-deserved Oscar.” –@QuincyDJones
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) November 19, 2018
Not only is Cicely finally getting the recognition she deserves, but the past two years have been amazing for the actress. She’s graced the cover of Elle and was honored at the Turner Classic Movies film festival with a hand and footprint ceremony.
During her speech, according to Vanity Fair, Cicely said, “I don’t know that I would cherish a better gift. This is the culmination of all those years of haves and have not.”
Watch the entire speech below:
This award was so well-deserved. Congratulations Cicely!
TELL US: Who’s another star who should be considered for an honorary Oscar?