Hollywood continues to mourn the passing of Emmy-winning screen and stage icon Cicely Tyson. The model and actress, who performed riveting portrayals of Black women, died on Thursday, Jan. 28. She was 96.
News of the star’s departure from life sent shock waves across the industry. Those who loved her work and those who had the opportunity to work with the star took to social media to express their sadness over the loss of a legend.
Director Tyler Perry took to his Instagram page on Thursday, where he paid a heartfelt tribute to the acting pioneer. “I was sitting at the table working when I got this overwhelming feeling to watch Miss Jane Pittman. I hadn’t seen the movie in years. I didn’t even understand the feeling to turn it on, but I did anyway,” Perry wrote alongside a gallery of photos of himself with the late actress.
The “Alex Cross” star revealed that soon after watching the movie, he had received a call from Oprah informing him of Tyson’s passing. “This one brought me to my knees!” Perry expressed. “She was the grandmother I never had and the wisdom tree that I could always sit under to fill my cup. My heart breaks in one beat, while celebrating her life in the next. To think that she lived for 96 years and I got to be a part of the last 16 brings me great joy. She called me son. Well, today your son grieves your loss and will miss our long talks, your laughter from your belly, and your very presence.”
Perry spoke highly of the “Wilma” star, describing her as “regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen.” The actor reflected on past phone calls he shared with Tyson and how she would tease him about wanting her to do something every time he would ask about her well-being.
“Well, I think it’s safe to say you have done all you were put here to do, and we are all better for it,” Perry concluded.
Tyson and Perry worked on several films together, including, “Alex Cross,” “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “A Fall from Grace,” just to name a few.
Other Hollywood figures paid their respects as well, including award-winning actress Angela Bassett, who shared a sweet message on Twitter, saying, “Ms Tyson, we are infinitely grateful for every day that God gave you to us.” She added, “For all of us little black and brown girls who dared to dream big and bold that we, too, deserved to be seen, heard, and loved, both on the screen and off. Rest in Power, my sweet, beautiful QUEEN.”
Ms. Tyson, we are infinitely grateful for every day that God gave you to us. For all of us little black and brown girls who dared to dream big and bold that we, too, deserved to be seen, heard, and loved, both on the screen and off. Rest in Power, my sweet, beautiful QUEEN. pic.twitter.com/OXSc6KSZdu
— Angela Bassett (@ImAngelaBassett)
Director Ava DuVernay also took to her social media platform, where she uploaded several photos of her and Tyson together. DuVernay wrote about the things she’ll miss about the actress. “Your hugs I’ll remember. How your petite arms wrapped around me like mighty branches of a sunlit tree, strong and warm,” she wrote. “Your love I’ll remember. You loved me for some reason and told me often. Thank you, Your Majesty. And bless you as you journey ahead. Until we meet again…”
Your hugs I’ll remember. How your petite arms wrapped around me like mighty branches of a sunlit tree, strong and warm. Your love I’ll remember. You loved me for some reason and told me often. Thank you, Your Majesty. And bless you as you journey ahead. Until we meet again… pic.twitter.com/Z6f3dp7AA1
— Ava DuVernay (@ava)
Check out what other celebrities had to stay about the trailblazer down below.
This one hurts, today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you Cicely Tyson. Rest in great power. pic.twitter.com/vwchWT5512
— Zendaya (@Zendaya)
We have lost a visionary, a leader, a lover, an author, an ICON, and one of the most talented actresses the world has ever seen. A life, a career, a fire to celebrated forevermore! #RIPCicelyTyson 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🖤🖤🖤 pic.twitter.com/Oh57mlbGoZ
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu)
She was an extraordinary person. And this is an extraordinary loss. She had so much to teach. And I still have so much to learn. I am grateful for every moment. Her power and grace will be with us forever. #cicelytyson https://t.co/RNYkGiooPD pic.twitter.com/b4wMKK1FVj
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes)