Cicely Tyson Remembered as Pioneering Hollywood Icon Who Paved the Way for Others

Tributes are pouring in for legendary actress Cicely Tyson, who died Thursday at the age of 96.

Tributes are pouring in for legendary Hollywood icon Cicely Tyson, who died Thursday at the age of 96. “I am not a quitter. I will fight until I drop,” Tyson once said. And she lived up to her words, granting a string of interviews right up until her final days.

Tyson was on a media blitz all week long, promoting her just released autobiography “Just as I Am.” The interviews are leaving the nation with a moving tribute to her trailblazing life — in her own words.

Gayle King interviewed Tyson last Friday in Harlem and couldn’t believe the turn of events.

“It was a week ago that we were sitting with her in church,” King said on “CBS This Morning.”

Tyson’s career spanned seven decades. She appeared in “Roots” and the classic film “Sounder.” But perhaps her most iconic role was “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” a major TV milestone in which she played a 110-year-old former enslaved person.

Tyson won three Emmys, a Tony and an honorary Oscar. She was honored at the Kennedy Center and awarded the presidential medal of freedom.

The daughter of Caribbean immigrants, Tyson was born in Harlem in 1924. She kept her ties to the neighborhood her entire life. When she sat down with King last week, it was at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, of which she was a member.

“When the time comes what do you want us to remember about you?” King asked. “That I’ve done my best. That’s it,” Tyson responded.