Cicely Tyson Receiving Her 1st Oscar: Oprah, Shonda Rhimes, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry Help Her Celebrate

Celebrity Friends Come Out To Support Cicely Tyson Receiving Her First Oscar

Cicely Tyson is well overdue for an Academy Award and on Sunday, November 18, she finally got it. The 93-year-old movie star was honored at the 10th annual Governors Awards where she became the first African-American woman to receive an honorary Oscar.

Tyson landed her first acting role on the NBC series Frontiers of Faith in 1951. She’s only been nominated for an Oscar once in her 67 year long career and that was for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder in 1972. In her acceptance speech, Tyson remembered the day she flew out to do the film.

45 years ago, I was offered a movie entitled Sounder. It was the first major movie I would have done in my career. On the way to the airport to fly out there, I stopped by a very close and longtime dear friend’s home to share the news with him. I said ‘I’m going out to Hollywood to do my first big movie.’ He looked at me and he said, ‘And you’re going to be nominated for an Academy Award. I laughed at him and I said, ‘And if I am, you will fly out and you will be my escort. I was nominated and he flew out to be my escort. The event was held on his birthday.


Several of Tyson’s celebrity friends were in attendance to watch her receive her award, including Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry, Anita Hill and of course, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah posted captioned a photo of the prestigious black directors with the caption:

A first: never seen this many Black directors in one room. All celebrating Ms. Cicely Tyson and her honorary Oscar!!

Tyson also thanked Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg during her acceptance speech, saying,

I know you didn’t want me to do this, but I did and here it is. And I know that for the longest time I wanted to hear something positive from her…When I did [The Autobiography Of] Jane Pittman, I called her up the next day after I got the recognition…and she said, ‘I am so proud of you.’ And I think if I had not heard those words from her, none of this would make a difference to me.

Congrats to her!

Authored by: Eleven8