Tyler Perry, Clintons attend memorial for actor Cicely Tyson

Entertainment
Cicley Tyson

A photo collage of Cicely Tyson greets people arriving just inside the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the Harlem neighborhood of New York where a public viewing was held Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, for Tyson, who died Jan. 28. Tyson, the pioneering Black actress who gained an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder,” a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88 and touched TV viewers’ hearts in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” was 96. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — Bill and Hillary Clinton, actor-director Tyler Perry, and singer Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson are among those who attended a private memorial service for Cicely Tyson.

Mourners gathered Tuesday at Harlem’s famed Abyssinian Baptist Church, a day after hundreds lined up for public viewing.

The church’s pastor, Rev. Calvin O. Butts, said after the nearly three-hour service that Tyson was an example of “a life well lived and an example of how we all might live.”

During the ceremony, the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature rose past 40 for the first time in the snowy city more than a week.

Tyson died on Jan. 28.

The New York-born actor was 96.

Her performance as a sharecropper’s wife in the 1972 movie “Sounder” cemented her stardom and earned her an Oscar nomination.

Tyson earned many accolades during her career, including two Emmy Awards for her role in 1974’s “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and in 1994 for “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All,” The Associated Press reported.

Tyson also won a Tony Award in 2013 for her role in Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful,” at the age of 88, The AP reported.

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