Cicely Tyson, an actress who dies in shattered stereotypes, 96

“It’s simple,” he said. “I always try to be true to myself. I learned from my mother: ‘Never lie, no matter how bad it is. Never lie to me, okay? You will be glad that you told the truth. ‘He who has been with me, and he will be with me, as long as I am lucky enough to live here. “

Sisley Tyson was born in East Harlem on December 19, 1924, the youngest of three children of William and Theodosia (also known as Frederica) Tyson, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her father was a carpenter and painter, and her mother was a domestic worker. When she was 10, her parents split up and the children were raised by a strict Christian mother who did not allow films or dates.

After graduating from Charles Evans Hughes High School, Cicely became a model, appearing on Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and elsewhere. In the 1940s, he studied at Actors Studio. He had his first role in NBC’s “Frontiers of Faith” in 1951. His frustrated mother outdoes him.

After short film and television portions in the 1950s, he joined James Earl Jones and Louis Gossett Jr. in the original New York cast of Jean Janet’s “The Black” in 1961. It was the longest running Off Broadway drama of the decade, running. For 1,408 performances. Ms. Tyson played Stephanie Virtue, a prostitute for two years and won the Vernon Rice Award in 1962, beginning her career.

He found help Harlem’s Dance Theater After 1968, Dr. King’s assassination. In 1994, an East Harlem building, where she lived as a child, was named; It and three others were rehabilitated for 58 poor families. In 1995, she supported a magnet school in East Orange, NJ, named the Cili Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts.

Her subsequent television roles included Opelia Harkens in half a dozen episodes of the long-running ABC legal drama “How to Get Away with Murder,” for which she was repeatedly nominated for Emmy and other awards, Who was an outstanding guest or supporting actress (2015) -19), and as Doris Jones in three episodes of “House of Cards” (2016).

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