Cicely Tyson helped to pave the way for Black female actors. Born Dec. 19, 1933, Tyson went on to star in feature films, popular television productions, as well as starring on Broadway.
During her career, this native New Yorker picked up a clutch of awards, including two Emmys. Tyson also worked as a fashion model for Ebony magazine.
It was in Atlanta in 1981, at the home of fellow actor Bill Cosby, that Tyson tied the knot with legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
Over the years, Tyson has been a staunch supporter of the arts. In East Orange, New Jersey, there’s a school that serves the most underprivileged African-American communities in the area, specializing in performing and fine arts, named in Tyson’s honor.
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(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)