Cicely Tyson, 93, Wows as She Makes History to Become First Black Woman to Win Honorary Oscar
Tyler Perry, Ava DuVernay and Quincy Jones presented the iconic performer with the award
Just a month before she turns 94, Tyson wowed in a metallic dress with shiny gloves and chic chin-length hair as she became the first black woman to receive an honorary statuette from the Academy.
The iconic performer — who has starred in projects like Fried Green Tomatoes, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, The Help and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter — was previously nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 1973 Academy Awards for her work in Sounder.
“Her work, grace, dignity, class, humility and profound professionalism firmly placed her on the pedestal of Hollywood royalty, and now, at long last, I could not be more honored to say that tonight, Cicely Tyson receives her more than well-deserved Oscar,” Jones said.
Tyson then delivered her acceptance speech. “I don’t know that I would cherish a better gift,” Tyson said. “This is the culmination of all those years of haves and have not.”
“Here at the Academy Governor’s Awards celebrating Royalty!” Winfrey gushed. “Ms. Cicely Tyson’s getting a long overdue Oscar! And yes that IS THe Anita Hill standing behind chair!”
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DuVernay posted a boomerang of Rhimes, Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o leaning in to smooch Tyson at the table. “Queens with the queen,” she said.
Alongside another picture from the night, Winfrey said, “A first: never seen this many Black directors in one room. All celebrating Ms. Cicely Tyson and her honorary Oscar!! Can you name them all?”
“Heading out to celebrate with the incomparable #cicelytyson as she accepts her Oscar at the Academy’s #governorsawards. She has blazed so many trails for us,” Rhimes praised on Instagram as she posed in her elegant black gown. “#legend #thankyouMsTyson.”
“Hi, folks. Today, I’m going to attempt to go from mild-mannered director nerd to halfway-decent-looking, queen-Cicely-Tyson-Governors-Academy-Award presenter in about two hours,” DuVernay shared on her Instagram Story.
Her mission was a success: Later in the day, she posted a picture of herself next to Tyson and wrote, “Beyond honored to present our beloved Ms. Tyson with her Academy Award.”