Magazine article Variety

Cicely Tyson on Her Bountiful Journey

Magazine article Variety

Cicely Tyson on Her Bountiful Journey

Article excerpt

Cicely Tyson turned 93 in December and though she has a long and heralded career, she has one response for anyone who would ask if she's thought about retiring. "And do what?" the legendary actress asks, followed by a long, joyous laugh.

Truly, Tyson is busier and better than ever; in recent years she's landed Emmy noms for her work on ABC's "How to Get Away With Murder" (she's already won three statues), a SAG Award for her work in "The Help" ensemble, and in 2013 won her first Tony Award for her star turn in "The Trip to Bountiful." There was also the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor in 2016, when President Obama listed her many achievements and couldn't help but add, "And she's just gorgeous!" Tyson again lets loose that wonderful laugh when reminded about this, admitting, "I was so embarrassed, I was red as a beet!"

The trailblazer can add a new honor to that growing list: on April 27, she'll place her hands and feet in cement outside the TCL Chinese Theatre alongside other legendary stars. Turner Classic Movies is hosting the event as part of the ninth annual TCM Classic Film Festival, at which her 1972 film "Sounder" will screen with Tyson in attendance.

"It came as such a shock to me," Tyson says of the announcement. "I never expected it." Recalling her arrival in Los Angeles early in her career and walking up and down Hollywood Boulevard, she says: "I would look at the names of all the people who put their handprints there; it never occurred to me under any circumstances that I would be asked to do the same thing. It's a very, very great honor for me."

But don't expect her to sit through "Sounder," the movie that landed her an Oscar nomination for lead actress; she admits she's never been able to watch herself on screen. The closest she's come recently was at a revival screening of the Emmy-winning "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," where producers caught her trying to sneak out. …

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