Tyson started her career as a model in NYC. She was on the covers of Ebony, Jet, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Still, her mom was none too pleased, telling her she couldn't live in the family house if she pursued entertainment. Her mom didn't speak to her for several years.
Younger audiences would know Cicely from "The Help" and "Fried Green Tomatoes."
She also made her mark on Broadway and won a Tony for Best Actress in a Play in 2013's "The Trip to Bountiful." That made her the oldest recipient ever of a Best Actress Tony.
President Obama bestowed a Presidential Medal of Freedom award to Tyson in 2016, saying, "Cicely made a conscious decision not just to say lines, but to speak out. Cicely's convictions and grace have helped for us to see the dignity of every beautiful member of the American family -- and she's just gorgeous."