Movie, stage, and television legend Cicely Tyson passed away on Thursday at the age of 96, and the news of her passing has many of her friends and colleagues in Hollywood paying tribute. From her Emmy-winning role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman to her more recent role on the hit series How to Get Away with Murder, Tyson has been impressing her contemporaries for decades, and the response to her death makes it clear just how much she is loved.
“This one cuts deep,” tweets LeVar Burton, who played Tyson’s son in the 1977 miniseries Roots. “@IAmCicelyTyson was my first screen Mom.. Elegance, warmth, beauty, wisdom, style and abundant grace. She was as regal as they come. An artist of the highest order, I will love her forever… RIP.”
Filmmaker Tyler Perry, who directed Cicely Tyson in Madea’s Family Reunion, posted to Facebook: “I was sitting at the table working when I got this overwhelming feeling to watch Miss Jane Pittman. I hadn’t seen the movie in years. I didn’t even understand the feeling to turn it on, but I did anyway. Not 12 minutes into the movie my phone rang. It was Oprah calling to tell me that Cicely had died. This one brought me to my knees! She was the grandmother I never had and the wisdom tree that I could always sit under to fill my cup.”
Tyler Perry adds, “My heart breaks in one beat, while celebrating her life in the next. To think that she lived for 96 years and I got to be a part of the last 16 brings me great joy. She called me son. Well, today your son grieves your loss and will miss our long talks, your laughter from your belly, and your very presence. Always so regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen.”
Tyson’s How to Get Away with Murder co-star Viola Davis also tweeted, “I’m devastated. My heart is just broken. I loved you so much!! You were everything to me! You made me feel loved and seen and valued in a world where there is still a cloak of invisibility for us dark chocolate girls. You gave me permission to dream…”
“I really need this not to be true,” added fellow How to Get Away with Murder star Shonda Rhimes.
Fellow Emmy-winner Zendaya posted an image of Tyson and tweeted, “This one hurts, today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you Cicely Tyson. Rest in great power.”
Another post from Rosario Dawson reads, “Greatness incarnate. I’m so grateful I got to see her perform live… Thank you dear Cicely for shining so bright and full every day for us all. #LegendsNeverDie.”
And a tweet from Common says, “I’m so sad to hear the news that trailblazing artist and cultural icon Cicely Tyson has passed away today. While she may be gone, her work and life will continue to inspire millions for years to come. God Bless.”
Along with her friends in Hollywood, fans all over the world are celebrating Tyson’s life and legacy with countless tribute posts. May she rest in peace as her memory lives on. You can check out some more tribute posts from Twitter below.