In 1957, she began acting in Off-Broadway productions. Her first film was an uncredited role in "Carib Gold" in 1957, but she went on to do television - the celebrated series "East Side/West Side" and the long-running soap opera, "The Guiding Light".
In 1967, she appeared in "The Comedians", and the following year, had a featured role in "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter".
She had minor roles in a few feature films before her role, as Portia in the film version of Carson McCuller's "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" (1968). Because she was committed to presenting only positive images of Black women, Tyson did not have steady work in film and television.
Her next notable role was as Rebbecca Morgan in the popular and critically acclaimed film "Sounder" (1972) for which she will be named best actress by the National Society of Film Critics and receive an Academy Award nomination.
In 1974, she appeared in, perhaps her best-known role, that of the title character in the television drama, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" for which she will won two Emmys.
Later in her career, Tyson took on supporting roles in the television miniseries "Roots" (1977), "The Women of Brewster Place" (1989) and also in the film "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991). She had a starring role in "Hoodlum" (1997).
Honored by the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women, Tyson was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.
In 1994, she returned to television drama as a costar in the series "Equal Justice." Tyson's movie resume includes "Bustin' Loose" (1981), "Always Outnumbered", "Mama Flora's Family" (1998), "Aftershock: Earthquake in New York", "A Lesson Before Dying" (1999), "Jewel" (2001), and "The Rosa Parks Story" (2002).
Other movies include "King", in which she played Coretta Scott King, "The Marva Collins Story", "When No One Would Listen", and "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" (for which she won another Emmy).
In 2005, Tyson co-starred in the movies "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "Diary of a Mad Black Woman". And in 2006, she was in "Idlewild".
Cicely Tyson co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
She was married in 1981 and divorced in 1988 from legendary trumpeter Miles Davis.
From www.anothershadeofcolor.com, http://www.mysticgames.com/famouspeople/CicelyTyson.htm.