Cicely Tyson, 93, Makes History as First Black Woman to Receive an Honorary Oscar

Cicely Tyson, who was nominated for an Academy Award as best lead actress in 1973's Sounder, will be receiving an honorary Oscar

Photo: Walter McBride/WireImage

Cicely Tyson is a legend in her own right, and will be receiving a well-deserved award.

The actress, 93, was announced as one of the recipients of this year's honorary Oscars by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Tyson began her career as a model and a theater actress with her first big screen role in 1968's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, starring actor Alan Arkin. Four years later, in 1972, the star received an Academy Award nomination for her leading performance in Sounder.

The star, who has won a Tony, two Emmys, and even a Presidential Medal of Freedom, will make history at the Governors Awards as the first black woman to receive an Oscar in the honorary award category.

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Nicole Wilder/ABC via Getty Images

Many famous friends congratulated Tyson on the honor. On-screen daughter Viola Davis, star of ABC's How to Get Away with Murder, wrote on Instagram and Twitter, "Aaaahhh!!!! THIS gives me LIFE!!! Beyond deserved!!! Love, love you beauty."

Shonda Rhimes also made a congratulatory message. "Just YES. Congrats to a true trailblazer! @IAmCicelyTyson," the showrunner tweeted.

Tyson's other notable film credits include The River Niger, Fried Green Tomatoes, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, The Help, Alex Cross and Last Flag Flying.

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When the Governors Awards take place on Nov. 18, publicist Marvin Levy and six-time nominated composer Lalo Schifrin will also be recognized. In addition, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and her producer partner, husband Frank Marshall will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

Kennedy, who has made over 60 films, will be the first female recipient of the award.

Also, on Thursday, the Academy Awards announced the "outstanding achievement in popular film" category would be postponed due to a "wide range of reactions."

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