12 Celebrity Deaths That Made 2021 Even More Devastating

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4. Cicely Tyson

Born Cicely Louise Tyson on December 19, 1924, in the Bronx, New York City, but soon relocated with her family to East Harlem. She would begin her love of singing by joining the choir and attending prayer meetings at an Episcopal church in East Harlem. Her early career would be as a fashion model after a photographer for Ebony magazine discovered her. She would soon land her first acting role was in the 1956 film Carib Gold.

She became the first black woman to take on the leading role in the TV drama East Side/West Side in the 1960s. She would gain superstar status in 1972 when she was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work in Sounder and won the NSFC Best Actress and NBR Best Actress Awards. Two years later, she would also pick up two Emmys for her 1974 performance in the civil rights-era film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. A career spanned seven decades would end on January 28, 2021. She was 96 years old.

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