Cicely Tyson Honored with Peabody Career Achievement Award

Cicely Tyson — whose career has spanned over 70 years in Hollywood — was selected for the Peabody Career Achievement Award for her work in film, television, and theater.

Per People on Monday, the 95-year-old will be honored in a video in which fellow stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Viola Davis pay tribute to the icon. (The clip was filmed prior to the death of George Floyd.)

“Cicely Tyson, throughout your incomparable career, you’ve chosen to bring to life women of hope, determination, grit, and grace because that is who you are. Your integrity is impeccable,” Winfrey said in the video.

“So I thank you for not just paving the way for me and every other black woman who dared to have a career in entertainment, but being the way,” Winfrey continued.

Davis added, “You have made it possible for girls like me, even girls who are not girls of color, but especially black girls, you’ve allowed us to be seen and you’ve allowed us to feel worthy.”

Jeffrey P. Jones, the executive director of Peabody, says Tyson “was a seminal figure of her time, and ahead of her time.”

“Cicely Tyson’s uncompromising commitment to using her craft to address the big issues of her time — gender equality, racial and social justice, equity and inclusion — places her in rare company,” Jones said. “And she did so when speaking up and speaking out invited stigma, isolation, and retribution.”

In 1973, Tyson was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her role in “Sounder.”

In 2018, she made history as the first black woman to receive an honorary Oscar, which was presented to her by Tyler Perry, Ava DuVernay, and Quincy Jones.

“I don’t know that I would cherish a better gift,” Tyson said in her acceptance speech. “This is the culmination of all those years of haves and have not.”

The Peabody 30 will be announced Wednesday, June 10.


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