Hollywood legend Cicely Tyson dies at 96
© Cicely Tyson on June 6, 2019. (Getty)

Legendary actress Cicely Tyson died Thursday at the age of 96, according to multiple news sources.

Tyson's manager Larry Thompson confirmed her passing to The Associated Press via a statement from the actor's family. However, it is unclear the cause of Tyson's death. 

"With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy," the statement read.


The pioneering actress, whose career spanned seven decades, became known over the years for her depictions of strong, Black, female characters.

"I wait for roles — first, to be written for a woman, then, to be written for a black woman," Tyson told the Entertainment News Service in 1997, according to The Washington Post.

Tyson became a household name after starring in a slew of hit movies and television shows, including the 1974 television drama "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman."

In recent years, Tyson acted as a reoccurring guest role on the ABC legal thriller "How to Get Away with Murder," and the 2011 Oscar-winning film "The Help."

Tyson won multiple awards throughout her career, including three Emmy Awards, an honorary Academy Award, a Tony Award, Peabody Award, four Black Reel Awards and one Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2015, she was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors lifetime achievement award.

Former President Obama also presented the Hollywood giant with the presidential medal of freedom in 2016, the highest civilian honor. 

Tyson's memoir and first book, "Just As I Am," was published Tuesday of this week.