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Remembering Hollywood Icon Cicely Tyson

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

We're remembering the life of actress Cicely Tyson this morning. In a career that lasted more than six decades, Tyson shattered stereotypes with her portrayals of strong Black women. Tyson starred in acclaimed productions such as "Roots," "Sounder" and "The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman." She brought a studied depth to her roles, and she spoke to NPR's Weekend All Things Considered earlier this month.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

CICELY TYSON: I was a very shy child. I was an observer. I would sit and observe and listen and watch people's actions. I sucked my fingers for 12 years. I never spoke, but I was a great observer.

MCCAMMON: Tyson said she later found her voice through acting.

Cicely Tyson died yesterday at the age of 96, and we'll have more on her extraordinary career elsewhere in the program.

(SOUNDBITE OF SLOW MEADOW'S "QUINTANA (SOLO PIANO)") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.