American actress Cicely Tyson has been inducted into the 2020 TV Hall of Fame.
The 95-year-old acting legend was honored at the 25th induction ceremony at the Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, California this week.
Tyson has been acting for 80 years. The Tony and Emmy winner was given her first and last Oscar nomination for her role as Rebecca in the 1972 film adaption of Sounder.
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Tyson is the first black actor to star in a television series, the first black woman to win an Emmy as a lead actress in a television movie, and the first black actress to receive an honorary Oscar
While accepting her award for her 80-year career, she said: “I want to let you know that I’m at an Academy now. And I hope I made up for the disappointment,” referring to her late mother, whom she says was “very upset” with her for not going to college.
In her words, she said: “I thank God for keeping me here as long as I’ve been here to get to an Academy and she thanked the Academy for inducting her into the Hall of Fame.”
She added: “I am extremely grateful that what I refer to as ‘divine guidance’ led me to this experience and gave me that future of my career.”
“I’ve been getting a lot of awards lately and I find myself wondering if ya’ll know something that I don’t know, and if you do, you better share it with me, because I will find a way to find out, ” she said jokingly.
“I have had an incredible career,” she added. “I am grateful, not to the shoulders that I stood on, but the backs that I laid on and stood on while the women in our family picked cotton with babies strapped to their backs. I’m grateful for them. I am super grateful that I have been here for 95 years, and have no idea who this person is. I find myself looking in the mirror every now and then and saying ‘Cicely, do you believe this?’ I don’t [believe it] but I am grateful to the Heavenly Father, to every single one of you who has held me up over these years. I want you to know that I would not be here if it weren’t for each one you.”
Tyson’s career includes The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman, A Woman Called Moses, Wilma, Roots, and many more.
Many of us know Tyson for her work with Tyler Perry in the Madea franchise and Viola Davis on How To Get Away With Murder.