Roots actor Cicely Tyson has passed away

Cicely Tyson published a book shortly before her death

Los Angeles, California - Actor Cicely Tyson, who starred in films such as Green Tomatoes and the TV series Roots, died at the age of 96.

Actor Cicely Tyson died at the age of 96.
Actor Cicely Tyson died at the age of 96.  © IMAGO / UPI Photo

It was with a "heavy heart" that her family announced the actor's death on Thursday afternoon, Tyson's longtime manager told DPA.

The cause of death was not initially released.

Born in New York, she initially worked as a model and was one of the first African-American women to star in a TV series in the early 1960s: she played a secretary in the drama series East Side/West Side.

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In 1973, she received an Oscar nomination for her leading role in the drama The Year Without a Father. Although Liza Minnelli (74) ended up winning the award for her work on Cabaret at the time, Tyson was presented with an honorary Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018.

Tyson racked up 16 Emmy nominations in her career, winning three, including two in 1974 for her legendary role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, in which she played a former slave who looks back on her life.

Her performance in the play The Trip to Bountiful earned her the coveted Tony Award for Best Actress in 2013.

Cicely Tyson published a book shortly before her death

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In the 1980s, Tyson was married to jazz musician Miles Davis (1926 - 1991). They divorced three years before his death.

Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo

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