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Cicely Tyson's Remarkable Career

Cicely Tyson in NPR's studios in Culver City, Calif.
Toyia Baker, NPR /
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Cicely Tyson in NPR's studios in Culver City, Calif.

The highlights of Cicely Tyson's life and career tell a story of personal excellence -- and interesting choices. Few know Tyson was the wife of late jazz genius Miles Davis, and was recently acknowledged by President Bush as a driving force in creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

She is better known for her roles on television and the silver screen. Her memorable roles include her Emmy-winning turn in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Harriet Tubman in A Woman Called Moses, Kunta Kinte's mother Binta in Roots and an Oscar-nominated turn as Rebecca in the film Sounder.

Tyson, who can pick and choose her roles, recently made two interesting film choices. She appears in the supporting role of Myrtle in Diary Of a Mad Black Woman, and also as a reclusive woman rumored to be a witch in Because of Winn-Dixie.

The film version of Diary Of a Mad Black Woman is adapted from the stage play of the same name by Tyler Perry, which has garnered a huge following. Critics call the new film an interesting mix of high drama and lowbrow comedy that focuses on forgiveness, family and women finding their own identities.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ed Gordon
Hard hitting, intelligent, honest, and no-nonsense describe Ed Gordon's style and approach to reporting that have made the Emmy Award-winning broadcaster one of the most respected journalists in the business today. Known for his informative on-air interaction with newsmakers, from world leaders to celebrities, the name Ed Gordon has become synonymous with the "big" interview.