(CNN) Cicely Tyson, an award-winning icon of the stage and screen who broke barriers for Black actresses with surpassing dignity, died Thursday, her longtime manager Larry Thompson confirmed to CNN.
She was 96. A family statement did not reveal the cause of death.
The actress chronicled her lengthy career in her first memoir, “Just As I Am,” which was just released Tuesday.
Tyson embodied African American women who demanded attention and more than that, respect. She played former slaves, civil rights icons, sharecroppers, truth tellers, mothers and other complicated women bringing a sense of depth, nobility and grace to every character.
Cicely Tyson in Tyler Perry‘s “Madea’s Family Reunion”.