Tributes to legendary actress and model Cicely Tyson are pouring with former U.S. President Barack Obama the latest to honor her.
Tyson, a pioneer and icon in entertainment, passed away on Thursday at the age of 96. The Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress was well-known for her portrayal of strong African American women.
Since her passing on Thursday afternoon, numerous celebrities and public figures have honored Tyson for work on and off the stage. Obama says her work on-screen was surpassed by her work and good deeds off of the screen. The country’s 44th president took to social media on late Thursday evening to pay his respects to Tyson. Obama wrote a fitting and touching tribute to Tyson along with a photo of himself, wife Michelle and Tyson.
“We are sending our thoughts and prayers to every member of Cicely’s family and to al those who loved her,” Obama says. “And while we are sad that her heart finally came to a rest today, there is comfort in knowing that she will always live in ours.”
Barack Obama Honors Late Actress, Friend Cicely Tyson
Obama has a large social media presence with more than 34 million followers on Instagram alone. His moving tribute to the late actress drew more than 680,000 “likes” along with thousands of comments and reposts. Several social media users wrote their own honorary tribute to Tyson in the comments section.
“In her extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson was one of the rare award-winning actors whose work on the screen was surpassed only by what she was able to accomplish off of it,” Obama continues.
News of Tyson’s death came Thursday afternoon as her manager, Larry Thompson, released a statement in confirmation.
“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” he says. “Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree.”
Tyson’s career spans over seven decades after breaking into show business in 1948. She has a long list of achievements, including induction into the television Hall-of-Fame just last year.