After more than 80 years in the entertainment business, Cicely Tyson is still racking up the honors and awards.
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the legendary actress was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame at the Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, California.
Shonda Rhimes is the person who inducted her in, and she spoke about Tyson’s historic career.
“And then there is that rarest of souls, that one spark of light who not only fulfills her dreams, but also fulfills the dreams of generations to follow,” said Rhimes. “That courageous warrior who demands more and makes more out of a dream than anyone before her ever dared to imagine possible.”
“See, Ms. Cicely Tyson is not like you or me,” added the “Scandal” creator. “She isn’t just someone who fulfilled her dream. Ms. Cicely Tyson herself is a dream fulfilled.”
Tyson’s long list of accomplishments includes being the first black actor to star in her own television series. She was also the first black woman to win an Emmy Award as a lead actress, and the first Black actress to receive an honorary Oscar award.
During her acceptance speech, the native New Yorker joked about her mother not being too happy when she was alive that Tyson skipped college.
“I want to let you know that I’m at an Academy now, and I hope I made up for the disappointment,” she told the crowd. “I am extremely grateful that what I refer to as ‘divine guidance’ led me to this experience and gave me that future of my career.”
Tyson then spoke of the women that came before her and served as inspiration.
“I have had an incredible career,” she stated. “I am grateful, not to the shoulders that I stood on, but the backs that I laid on and stood on while the women in our family picked cotton with babies strapped to their backs.”
“I’m grateful for them. I am super grateful that I have been here for 95 years and have no idea who this person is,” added Tyson.
“I find myself looking in the mirror every now and then and saying ‘Cicely, do you believe this?’ I don’t [believe it] but I am grateful to the Heavenly Father, to every single one of you who has held me up over these years,” she explained. “I want you to know that I would not be here if it weren’t for each one of you.”
Fans of Tyson will soon be able to see her in the coming OWN series “Cherish The Day,” created by Ava DuVernay. The veteran actress will play the role of Miss Luma Lee Langston in the series, a legendary performer from many years ago.
The show will premiere on Feb. 11.