Cicely Louise Tyson

Film Credits

The 50s

1959 The Last Angry Man
Girl Left on Porch (uncredited)
1959 Odds Against Tomorrow
Jazz Club Bartender (uncredited)

Cicely Tyson and Carmen de Lavallade – “Odds Against Tomorrow.”

1957 Carib Gold
Dottie
1951 Frontiers of Faith (TV Series)
Tony

The 60s 

East Side/West Side

No Hiding Place (1963)

George C Scott Cicely Tyson Ruby Dee Earle Hyman 

East Side/ West Side (1963) – w/ James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (TV Series)
Betty Kelly
Guess Who’s Coming for Lunch (1969) … Betty Kelly

UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 29: THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER – “Guess Who’s Coming for Lunch” – Season One – 10/26/69, Cicely Tyson (as Betty), James Cole (as Max) on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network comedy “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”. Eddie gets a new second-best friend – Tom will always be his best friend – by the name of Max. , (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 29: THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER – “Guess Who’s Coming for Lunch” – Season One – 10/29/69, Bill Bixby (as Tom), Cicely Tyson (as Betty) on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network comedy “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”. Eddie gets a new second-best friend – Tom will always be his best friend – by the name of Max. , (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 29: THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER – “Guess Who’s Coming for Lunch” – Season One – 10/29/69, Brandon Cruz (as Eddie), Bill Bixby (as Tom), James Cole (as Max), Cicely Tyson (as Betty) on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network comedy “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”. Eddie gets a new second-best friend – Tom will always be his best friend – by the name of Max. , (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

1968-1969 The F.B.I. (TV Series)
Lainey Harber / Julie Harmon
– Silent Partner (1969) … Lainey Harber
– The Enemies (1968) … Julie Harmon

Unspecified – 1968: (L-R) Cicely Tyson, Efrem Zimbalist Jr appearing on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images’s ‘The FBI’ episode ‘The Enemies’. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

Unspecified – 1968: (L-R) Al Freeman Jr, Cicely Tyson, Efrem Zimbalist Jr appearing on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images’s ‘The FBI’ episode ‘The Enemies’. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

 

1969 Medical Center (TV Series)
Susan Wiley
The Last Ten Yards (1969) … Susan Wiley

1968 The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Portia

1967 Judd for the Defense (TV Series)
Lucille Evans
Commitment (1967) … Lucille Evans

1967 Cowboy in Africa (TV Series)
Julie Anderson
Tomorrow on the Wind (1967) … Julie Anderson

COWBOY IN AFRICA – “Tomorrow on the Wind” – Airdate November 20, 1967. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) CICELY TYSON; RICHARD ELKINS; CHUCK CONNORS

1967 The Comedians
Marie Therese

1965-1966 I Spy (TV Series)
Vickie Harmon / Princess Amara
Trial by Treehouse (1966) … Vickie Harmon
So Long, Patrick Henry (1965) … Princess Amara

1966 Guiding Light (TV Series)
Martha Frazier
– Episode dated 9 August 1966 (1966) … Martha Frazier

1966 A Man Called Adam
Claudia Ferguson

 

1965 Slattery’s People (TV Series)
Sarah Brookman
Question: Who You Taking to the Main Event, Eddie? (1965) … Sarah Brookman

1963-1964 East Side/West Side (TV Series)
Jane Foster
Here Today (1964) … Jane Foster
The Givers (1964) … Jane Foster
Nothing But the Half Truth (1964) … Jane Foster
The Name of the Game (1964) … Jane Foster
Take Sides with the Sun (1964) … Jane Foster

American actress Cicily Tyson (as Jane Foster) works at a filing cabinet in a scene from an episode of the television show ‘East Side/West Side,’ New York, New York, October 18, 1963. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

 

1963 Naked City (TV Series)
Darlene Knox
Howard Running Bear Is a Turtle (1963) … Darlene Knox

1962 The Doctors and the Nurses (TV Series)
Betty Ann Warner
– Frieda (1962) … Betty Ann Warner

1960 CBS Repertoire Workshop (TV Series)
Daughter
– Brown Girl, Brownstones (1960) … Daughter

The 70s  

 

Saturday Night Live veteran Jim Downey said the highest-rated SNL ever was hosted by
Cicely Tyson
Feb 10, 1979
17.6 with a 42 share. Tonight SNL showed this pic as a tribute to her

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 11 — Pictured: (l-r) Garrett Morris and Cicely Tyson during the monologue on February 10, 1979 — (Photo by Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

– (Photo by Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

 

 

 

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 11 — Pictured: (l-r) Cicely Tyson and Garrett Morris during the ‘Black Perspective’ skit on February 10, 1979 — (Photo by Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 11 — Pictured: (l-r) Garrett Morris as Earl Bass, Cicely Tyson as Wilma Bass, Dan Aykroyd as Bob Widette, Jane Curtin as Betty Widette during the ‘The Widettes’ skit on February 10, 1979 — (Photo by Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 11 — Pictured: (l-r) Bill Murray as Mohammad Reza Pahlevi and Cicely Tyson as Gail Barnes during the ‘The Shah’s Final Days’ skit on February 10, 1979 — (Photo by Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 11 — Pictured: (l-r) Cicely Tyson as Bess and Garrett Morris as Porky during the ‘Litella Vision’ skit on February 10, 1979 — (Photo by Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

1979 The Concorde… Airport ’79
Elaine

1978 A Woman Called Moses (TV Series)
Harriet Ross Tubman
– Episode #1.2 (1978) … Harriet Ross Tubman
– Episode #1.1 (1978) … Harriet Ross Tubman

 

(Original Caption) USA: Cicely Tyson as A Woman Called Moses, on NBC-TV, December 11 and 12.

1978 King (TV Mini-Series)
Coretta Scott King
– Episode #1.3 (1978) … Coretta Scott King
– Episode #1.2 (1978) … Coretta Scott King
– Episode #1.1 (1978) … Coretta Scott King

1978 A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich
Sweets

A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich

 

1977 Wilma (TV Movie)
Blanche Rudolph

Shirley Jo Finney and Cicely Tyson in NBC’s “Wilma“.

Shirley Jo Finney and Cicely Tyson

1977 Roots (TV Mini-Series)
Binta
– Part I (1977) … Binta

 

1976 Just an Old Sweet Song (TV Movie)
Priscilla

1976 The River Niger
Mattie Williams

The River Niger
In a poor African-American neighborhood in Los Angeles, once-aspiring poet Johnny Williams (James Earl Jones) takes a low-paying job as a house painter in order to support his family. Already struggling to make ends meet, Williams — who rests his hopes on his son Jeff (Glynn Turman), an Air Force lieutenant — grows more despondent when he learns his wife, Mattie (Cicely Tyson), has terminal cancer. Now, Williams must summon the depths of his spirit to overcome his family’s plight.

Louis Gossett, Jonelle Allen, Glynn Turman

Actor James Earl Jones and actress Cicely Tyson and actor Glynn Turman on the set of the Cine Artists Picture movie “The River Niger” in 1976. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Actress Cicely Tyson, actors James Earl Jones, Louis Gossett Jr. Glynn Turman on the set of the Cine Artists Picture movie “The River Niger” in 1976. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

James Earl Jones

 

 

1976 The Blue Bird
Tylette

Actress Cicely Tyson in a scene from the film ‘The Blue Bird‘, 1976. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)

1974 The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (TV Movie)
Jane Pittman

 

1974 Desire Under The Elms 

Roscoe Lee Browne

1972 Norman Corwin Presents (TV Series)
Two Gods on Prime Time (1972)

1972 Sounder
Rebecca

 

1972 Wednesday Night Out (TV Movie)

1972 Emergency! (TV Series)
Mrs. Johnson
– Crash (1972) … Mrs. Johnson

 

1971 Neighbors (TV Movie)

Andrew Duggan, Raymond St. Jacques, Cicely Tyson, Jane Wyatt. “A provocative, emotion-packed drama about race relations in an all-White suburban community, this play depicts the confrontation between an upper-class White couple and a Black couple from Harlem who plan to buy their expensive suburban home. In negotiating the sale, all four parties learn a little more about each other…and a lot about their own latent prejudices. A stellar cast – including Oscar-nominee and 2-time Emmy-winner Cicely Tyson (Sounder), 3-time Emmy-winner Jane Wyatt (Father Knows Best), Andrew Duggan (Rich Man, Poor Man), and Raymond St. Jacques (Roots) – delivers outstanding performances. By Arkady Leokum.”

 

1971 Marriage: Year One (TV Movie)
Emma Teasley

1971 Insight (TV Series)
Edna
Bird on the Mast (1971) … Edna

1970 Gunsmoke (TV Series)
Rachel Biggs
The Scavengers (1970) … Rachel Biggs

1970 Mission: Impossible (TV Series)
Alma Ross
Death Squad (1970) … Alma Ross

1970 The Bill Cosby Show (TV Series)
Mildred Hermosa
Blind Date (1970) … Mildred Hermosa

1970 Here Come the Brides (TV Series)
Princess Lucenda

UNITED STATES – JULY 23: HERE COME THE BRIDES – “Obie Brown and the Black Princess” 12/26/69 Cicely Tyson, Extras (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

 

The 80s 

1989 The Women of Brewster Place (TV Mini-Series)
Mrs. Browne
– Episode #1.2 (1989) … Mrs. Browne
– Episode #1.1 (1989) … Mrs. Browne

Cicely Tyson, in costume in the role of Mrs. Browne, while on the set of the television mini-series ‘The Women of Brewster Place‘, Los Angeles, CA, 1988. (Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)

1986 Intimate Encounters (TV Movie)
Dr. Claire Dalton

1986 Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story (TV Movie)
Muriel

 

1986 Acceptable Risks (TV Movie)
Janet Framm

Walt Disney Television via Getty Images MOVIE FOR TV – “Acceptable Risks” – Airdate: March 2, 1986. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
RICHARD GILLILAND; CICELY TYSON; BRIAN DENNEHY

1985 Playing with Fire (TV Movie)
Carol Phillips

Cicely Tyson, Gary Coleman for “Playing with Fire” NBC TV Movie

Cicely Tyson, Gary Coleman for “Playing with Fire” NBC TV Movie

 

1982 Benny’s Place (TV Movie)
Odessa

BENNY’S PLACE – TV Movie – Airdate: May 31, 1982. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
L-R: BEVER-LEIGH BANFIELD; CICELY TYSON

BENNY’S PLACE – TV Movie – Airdate: May 31, 1982. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
L-R: BEVER-LEIGH BANFIELD; DAVID HARRIS; CICELY TYSON

BENNY’S PLACE – TV Movie – Airdate: May 31, 1982. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
L-R: CICELY TYSON; BEVER-LEIGH BANFIELD; DAVID HARRIS

BENNY’S PLACE – TV Movie – Airdate: May 31, 1982. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
L-R: CICELY TYSON; BEVER-LEIGH BANFIELD; DAVID HARRIS

BENNY’S PLACE – TV Movie – Airdate: May 31, 1982. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
LOUIS GOSSETT JR.; CICELY TYSON

BENNY’S PLACE – TV Movie – Airdate: May 31, 1982. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
L-R: CICELY TYSON; PAULENE MYERS; LOUIS GOSSETT JR.

BENNY’S PLACE – TV Movie – Airdate: May 31, 1982. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
LOUIS GOSSETT JR.; CICELY TYSON

 

1981 The Marva Collins Story (TV Movie)
Marva Collins

1981 The Body Human: Becoming a Woman (TV Movie)

1981 Bustin’ Loose
Vivian Perry

 

1981: Richard Pryor and Cicely Tyson appear in a scene from the movie “Bustin’ Loose” which was released in 1981. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

1981: Richard Pryor and Cicely Tyson appear in a scene from the movie “Bustin’ Loose” which was released in 1981. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

1981: Richard Pryor and Cicely Tyson appear in a scene from the movie “Bustin’ Loose” which was released in 1981. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The 90s

 

1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (TV Mini-Series)
Emily Lincoln
– Part 2 (1999) … Emily Lincoln
– Part 1 (1999) … Emily Lincoln

1999 A Lesson Before Dying (TV Movie)
Tante Lou.

1998 Mama Flora’s Family (TV Mini-Series)
Mama Flora
– Episode #1.2 (1998) … Mama Flora
– Episode #1.1 (1998) … Mama Flora

Based on Alex Haley’s novel about a Black matriarch in the early 20th century, this dramatic miniseries spotlights the struggle for social change. Cicely Tyson stars as Mama Flora, a woman determined to free her children from the bonds of racism and the system.

 

 

1998 Always Outnumbered (TV Movie)
Luvia

1997 Ms. Scrooge (TV Movie)
Ms. Ebenita Scrooge

1997 Hoodlum
Stephanie St. Clair

Directed by Bill Duke
Produced by Frank Mancuso, Jr.
Written by Chris Brancato

Starring
Laurence Fishburne
Tim Roth
Vanessa Williams
Andy García
Cicely Tyson
Chi McBride
Richard Bradford
Clarence Williams III

 

1997 The Price of Heaven (TV Movie)
Vesta Lotte Battle

1997 Riot (TV Movie)
Maggie (segment “Homecoming Day”)

1997 Bridge of Time (TV Movie)
Guardian

1996 The Road to Galveston (TV Movie)
Jordan Roosevelt

1994-1995 Sweet Justice (TV Series)
Carrie Grace Battle
Love Kills (1995) … Carrie Grace Battle
The Sensational Six (1995) … Carrie Grace Battle
Muddy Waters (1995) … Carrie Grace Battle
Pledges (1995) … Carrie Grace Battle
Broken Ties (1995) … Carrie Grace Battle

Michael Warren, Cicely Tyson- “Sweet Justice” NBC TV

1994 Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (TV Mini-Series)
Castralia, Marsden Family House Slave / Maid
1993 House of Secrets (TV Movie)
Evangeline

 

1992 When No One Would Listen (TV Movie)
Sarah

1992 Duplicates (TV Movie)
Dr. Randolph

1991 Fried Green Tomatoes
Sipsey

1991 Clippers (TV Movie)
Donna

1990 The Kid Who Loved Christmas (TV Movie)
Etta

Actresses Cicely Tyson, Esther Rolle (1920 – 1998), and Della Reese (1931 – 2017), on the film set for the movie ‘The Kid Who Loved Christmas‘ at Union Station in Chicago, Illinois, February 12, 1990. The other figures are unidentified. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

1990 Heat Wave (TV Movie)
Ruthana Richardson

1990 B.L. Stryker (TV Series)
Ruth Hastings
Winner Takes All (1990) … Ruth Hastings

2000 – 2010 

2010 Why Did I Get Married Too?
Ola

2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)
Ondine Burdett
– Hell (2009) … Ondine Burdett

2009 Relative Stranger (TV Movie)
Pearl

2007 Rwanda Rising
Jeanette Nyirabagarwa (voice)

2006 Idlewild
Mother Hopkins

 

2006 Fat Rose and Squeaky
Celine

2006 Madea’s Family Reunion
Aunt Myrtle

 

2005 Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Myrtle

 

2005 Higglytown Heroes (TV Series)
Great Aunt Shirley Hero
– Wayne’s 100 Special Somethings (2005) … Great Aunt Shirley Hero (voice)

2005 Because of Winn-Dixie
Gloria

 

2002 The Proud Family (TV Series)
Mrs. Maureen Parker
– Behind Family Lines (2002) … Mrs. Maureen Parker (voice)

2002 The Rosa Parks Story (TV Movie)
Leona Edwards McCauley

2001 Jewel (TV Movie)
Cathedral

2000 The Outer Limits (TV Series)
Justice Gretchen Parkhurst
Final Appeal (2000) … Justice Gretchen Parkhurst

2000 Touched by an Angel (TV Series)
Abigail Peabody-Jackson

 

2011 – 2020 

 

2015-2020 How to Get Away with Murder (TV Series)
Ophelia Harkness
Stay (2020) … Ophelia Harkness
The Reckoning (2020) … Ophelia Harkness
Are You the Mole? (2019) … Ophelia Harkness
Where Are Your Parents? (2019) … Ophelia Harkness
Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (2018) … Ophelia Harkness

2020 Cherish the Day (TV Series)
Miss Luma Lee Langston
Catharsis (2020) … Miss Luma Lee Langston
Nemesis (2020) … Miss Luma Lee Langston
Analysis (2020) … Miss Luma Lee Langston (credit only)
Basis (2020) … Miss Luma Lee Langston
Oasis (2020) … Miss Luma Lee Langston

2020 A Fall from Grace
Alice

2019 Madam Secretary (TV Series)
Flo Avery
– Leaving the Station (2019) … Flo Avery

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 12: The series finale of MADAM SECRETARY will feature a host of esteemed guest stars who will help celebrate the critically acclaimed series’ six-year run. The episode will air Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 (10:30-11:30 PM, ET/10:00-11:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured (L-R) Cicely Tyson as Flo Avery, Erich Bergen as Blake Moran, Sabina Zúñiga Varela as Angel Lopez Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Members Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Crystal Dunn, and Allie Long (Photo by Mark Schafer/CBS via Getty Images)

2017 Last Flag Flying
Mrs. Hightower

2016 Showing Roots
Hattie

2016 House of Cards (TV Series)
Doris Jones
– Chapter 42 (2016) … Doris Jones
– Chapter 41 (2016) … Doris Jones
– Chapter 40 (2016) … Doris Jones

 

2014 The Trip to Bountiful (TV Movie)
Mrs. Watts

2013 The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
Mama Kay

2012 Alex Cross
Nana Mama

2011 The Help

 

***

American fashion model and actress Cicely Tyson at Heathrow Airport, London, UK, 18th February 1973. (Photo by George Stroud/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In an interview with Behind the Lens, Cicely Tyson explained how this was when she decided what kind of roles she would take:

I think that I made a very conscious decision the early part of my career when I was doing promotion for ‘Sounder.’ I was at a press conference, and one of the journalists stood up and said, ‘I discovered a bit of prejudice in myself which I had never thought existed.’ And it came about at a moment when Kevin Hooks who played my oldest son called his father “daddy.” And so I asked if he had any children and he says, ‘Yes.’ And point of fact, he had two sons, like I had two sons [in the film]. And I asked, ‘What did they call you?’ He said, ‘Daddy.’ He could not equate the fact that this little black boy was calling this Black man daddy like his children were calling him daddy.

It floored me. It absolutely floored me. I just feel it here. I couldn’t believe what the man was saying. I couldn’t believe it. And I thought to myself, ‘This is absolute sheer ignorance.’ I said [to myself], ‘What is the difference? Is he a man just like you are?’ I didn’t say this to him, but I was too stunned to say anything. And then finally I said to him, ‘I have to tell you that I admire your chutzpah.’ And the audience laughed because I had to break it some kind of way. I said, ‘For you to stand up here in the midst of all your peers and make that statement, I really respect you. Because you discovered something about yourself. And in the process, other people here will have the same experience.’

I never forgot that. I made my mind up at that moment, that and one or two other similar experiences, that I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress. I had to do something that I felt would in some way benefit humankind. And I chose my career as my platform to address causes that I felt I want to change it some way. I went for five years without working. During that time I just went around schools, talking to kids and so on. But I wouldn’t take anything that I felt was degrading in any way. I couldn’t do it.”