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Ava DuVernay Taps 94-Year-Old Screen Legend Cicely Tyson for Role in New OWN Series ‘Cherish the Day’

Cicely Tyson has signed on to be in Ava DuVernay‘s forthcoming anthology series “Cherish the Day” on OWN, and the popular filmmaker seemed both thrilled and thankful.

The 94-year-old actress will play the role of Miss Luma Lee Langston, a legendary star of stage and screen in decades past, as described in a press release.

“Cherish the Day,” which premieres in the winter of 2020, will follow the story of a romantic couple, and each episode will show one day of their relationship. DuVernay created and wrote the series, and she’ll be an executive producer as well. Tanya Hamilton, who directed the show “Queen Sugar” and the film “Night Catches Us” will direct.

The couple in “Cherish the Day” will be played by Xosha Roquemore, who’ll take on the role of Gently James, while the character Evan Fisher will be played by Alano Miller. Gently James is a live-in assistant for Tyson in the series, who encourages her to get into a relationship with Miller’s character.

“Last November I was honored to present Ms. Tyson with her Honorary Academy Award, so to have the opportunity to work with this force of nature who has inspired multiple generations with her talent and grace is beyond anything I can describe,” said DuVernay in a press release. “I am over the moon that ​Miss Tyson will bring Miss Luma Lee Langston to life in ‘Cherish the Day.’ Each day that she walks on set is a master class.”

As for Tyson, she’s been called a true pioneer for her work in film, stage and television. She was the first Black woman to win an Emmy award as best lead actress in a drama for “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” released in 1974, and was the second Black woman to be nominated in the Oscars’ best actress category for the 1972 film “Sounder.”

“Cherish the Day” is DuVernay’s second show on OWN, “Queen Sugar” being the first. Meanwhile, one of Tyson’s recent roles was on the ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder,” where she played the character Ophelia Harkness.

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