The CBS This Morning interview aired just two days before the legendary actress' death on Thursday at the age of 96

By Jen Juneau
January 29, 2021 10:45 AM
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Gayle King is honoring Cicely Tyson by sharing footage from one of her final interviews before her death.

On Thursday night — just two days after CBS This Morning aired an interview with the late star about her legacy and new memoir — King, 66, paid tribute to the legendary actress, who died at age 96, by posting the full interview on Instagram.

Presented alongside the caption, "Thank you Cicely Tyson … for everything … ," the interview included Tyson speaking about how she didn't have aspirations to be an actress initially — and how her mother thought she would "live in the den of iniquity, because we grew up in the slums ... and that's all she knew about movies."

"I'm amazed every single day I live," Tyson added near the end of the interview. "I mean, what my life became is not what I expected. I had no idea that I would touch anybody."

cecily tyson, gayle king
Cicely Tyson (L); Gayle King
| Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage; John Lamparski/Getty

"I done my best. That's all," she responded when King asked how she'd want to be remembered "when the time comes" for her to pass on.

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Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson in 1976

King opened up in a piece for Oprah Magazine back in 2016 about falling "head over heels for Cicely Tyson 42 years ago, when she made her legendary walk to the water fountain as 110-year-old Jane Pittman in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman."

She also reflected on another interview that she'd previously done with Tyson for CBS This Morning, sharing, "She told me that when making a movie she asks everybody on set not to give her feedback because her acting comes from an organic place; whether her performance was good or bad, she won't be able to change it."

"So when people would ask what it was like to do the walk scene, she would just look at them and say, 'What walk?' Cicely Tyson not knowing she was having a Cicely Tyson moment — it filled me up," King told the outlet at the time. "Even though she's 91 years old, the word retirement is not in her vocabulary, and I wouldn't want it to be, either."

She concluded with a favorite quote of hers from Tyson: " 'Age is just a number. Life and aging are the greatest gifts that we could possibly ever have.' "

Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson in December 2018
| Credit: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

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RELATED VIDEO: Cicely Tyson, Groundbreaking Screen and Broadway Actress, Dies at 96

With a career spanning more than six decades, Tyson — who won both Tony and Golden Globe Awards and the Peabody Career Achievement Award, among others — never retired from the entertainment industry and was most famously known for her roles playing resilient, uplifting Black women.

"It's very exciting to know that you are, hopefully, making a roadway for someone else to follow," she told PEOPLE earlier this month in an interview about her groundbreaking life and career that appears in this week's issue.

On Thursday, the Sounder actress' longtime manager, Larry Thompson, released a statement about her death.

"I have managed Miss Tyson's career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing," Thompson said, before referencing her recently released memoir — Just As I Am — as he continued his statement. "Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree."