Legendary Actress Cicely Tyson to Receive Honorary Oscar

Cicely Tyson (Credit: Deposit Photos)

Cicely Tyson  will be presented with an Honorary Oscar later this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday.

The awards are given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy,” the Academy said in a press release.

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Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem in 1924, and began her career as a model and theater actress, appearing both on and off-Broadway.

She made the transition to television and film in the 1950s.

After a series of small roles, she was cast as Portia in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter in 1968. Four years later, she received an Academy Award nomination for her leading role in the 1972 drama Sounder.

The 93-year-old performer’s other notable film credits include The River Niger, Fried Green Tomatoes, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, The HelpAlex Cross and Last Flag Flying.

Tyson will be honored along with veteran Hollywood publicist Marvin Levy and Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin at the Academy’s 10th Annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles on November 18. During the ceremony, producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will receive the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

Just last week, Tyson made headlines when she delivered a moving tribute to Aretha Frankin at the Queen of Soul’s funeral in Detroit.

After taking the podium in a sweeping black hat, Tyson delivered a dramatic interpretation of the poem When Malindy Sings by Paul Laurence Dunbar.