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Cicely Tyson becomes first black woman to get honorary Oscar

HONOURED: Cicely Tyson is the first black woman to be awarded an honorary Oscar

CICELY TYSON is to become the first black woman to receive an honorary Oscar.

The 93-year-old actress has been announced as one of three honorees of the award.

Tyson is already the recipient of a Tony and two Emmys.

The actress, whose career started in modelling and theatre, has also been awarded a presidential medal of freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US.

Tyson was previously nominated for an Oscar in 1973 for her role in Sounder, a film about a poor black family in the American South during the Depression era.

John Bailey, the president of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said: “Choosing the honorees for its awards each year is the happiest of all the Board of Governors’ work. And this year, its selection of five iconic artists was made with universal acclaim by the Academy’s 54 spirited governors.”

The Honorary Award is given “to honour extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy”.

Celebrity friends and fans have shared their delight at the news.

Tyson has acted alongside Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder as Annalise’s mother and the series’ lead was among those expressing joy at the announcement.

Davis tweeted: “This gives me Life!!! Beyond deserved!!! Love, love you beauty.”

Debbie Allen, founder and artistic director of The Debbie Allen Dance Academy and an executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy, said: “So happy to see Cicely Tyson included on this list of honorees! Bravo The Academy!”

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