The nation is in mourning following the death of Cicely Tyson this week. The pioneer, icon, and legend passed away on the afternoon of January 28, at 96 years old, leaving the industry in awe at all she was able to accomplish on and off screen. Several famous figures have posted tributes to the late actress, including Michelle and Barack Obama, Omari Hardwick, Tyler Perry — whom she’d grown incredibly close with over the years — and more.
This morning, Netflix revisited a recent interview between Tyson, and fellow queen, Phylicia Rashad. At the time, both were starring in Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace. During the ‘Between Two Faves’ chat, Tyson opened up about not immediately knowing what her purpose was, how acting became a healthy mode of communication for her, and more.
“I would say that God gave us all a purpose. I didn’t realize what mine was, actually. I just found myself in a situation where I felt comfortable doing what I was doing,” she told Rashad, who asked what has sustained Tyson throughout her career. “I was a very shy child. Spoke very little. This allowed me an avenue through which I could communicate. As long as I could do it as someone else, I was comfortable. If I had to do it as Cicely Tyson, I was restrained, I was shy, I was frightened. It wouldn’t come through, but through a character — I could talk.”
“When I made the decision to use my career as my platform, I didn’t know what to expect,” she continued. “But I felt if I just was able to reach one person, I would be grateful.” As we’re all aware, Miss Cicely Tyson would go on to reach generations. Watch that beautiful moment in the clip above, plus an unforgettable follow-up message from Tyson below. May the beauty rest in peace.