Inspirational Quotes from Cicely Tyson

Age is just a number. Life and aging are the greatest gifts that we could possibly ever have.

Cicely Tyson

Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.

Cicely Tyson

I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there’s nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.

Cicely Tyson

When I attack a role, be it TV, film or stage, the first thing I say is, I don’t want to know anything. If it’s good I don’t want to hear it; if it’s bad I don’t want to hear it. The only thing either thing can do is distract me. I like to stay focused.

Cicely Tyson

My gratification in working comes from the preparation and the building of the character.

Cicely Tyson

You never know what motivates you.

Cicely Tyson

I have learned not to allow rejection to move me.

Cicely Tyson

One of the things I have always said about the man-woman relationship is that I don’t want anybody to walk ahead of me, and I don’t want anybody to walk behind me. I want a man who will walk along beside me. And that’s how I feel about equal rights.

Cicely Tyson

Unless a piece really said something, I had no interest in it. I have got to know that I have served some purpose here.

Cicely Tyson

In my early years, there were a number of experiences that made me decide I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress. There were a number of issues I wanted to address. And I wanted to use my career as a platform.

Cicely Tyson

As far as ‘Jane Pittman,’ I don’t know that I could verbalize, to this day, what I felt once I got into that role. I did a tremendous amount of research. I need to feel as though I am in the person’s skin.

Cicely Tyson

I don’t think you can measure wealth in dollars and cents. I really don’t believe that at all because there are some things that money cannot buy. One of them is health. And the other is security in your relationships and friends.

Cicely Tyson

The gratification comes, for me, in the doing of it. And once I’ve done it, I can’t do anything about it if it’s good or if it’s bad.

Cicely Tyson

I don’t condemn anyone for making their choices. If someone chooses those roles, fine. But not for me. When someone stops me and says, You’re the reason I became an actress, that lets me know I made the right decision.

Cicely Tyson

Ali… we should have gone to see that movie. Malcolm X was another one.

Cicely Tyson

We have to support our own films. If we don’t, how can we expect others to support them?

Cicely Tyson

When I told my mother that I wanted to be an actress, she said, you can’t live here and do that, and so I moved out. I was determined to prove her wrong because she was so sure that I was going to go astray. And that’s the juice that kept me going.

Cicely Tyson

I was in California when this journalist made a blanket statement about the fact that she did not think that black men and women had the kind of love relationship that Rebecca and Nathan had in Sounder.

Cicely Tyson

The choices of roles I made had to do with educating and entertaining. And as a result I found myself working only every two or three years.

Cicely Tyson

One lady told me that before she saw ‘Sounder’ she didn’t believe black people could love each other, have deep relationships in the same way as white people.

Cicely Tyson

My mother was an introvert and quite religious. And we were brought up in the church. And when she learned that I wanted to act, she simply said: ‘You cannot live here and do that.’

Cicely Tyson

How do you project a character if you don’t have a sense of where she is from? I’ve always just gotten on a plane to go to the area to get a sense of what it is like, to smell it, feel the earth, hear people talk, go to the marketplaces.

Cicely Tyson

I feel so guilty about the state of young people today. And I say that because our generation fought for everything. We fought to sit down at a counter, to sit on a bus. They were left with nothing to fight for.

Cicely Tyson

Now, I am perfectly willing to just enjoy my career by choosing roles simply because I consider them to be a challenge and doing the best possible job I can.

Cicely Tyson

I didn’t want to be an actress; I never thought of being an actress because, as children, there were three of us – I was the middle child – and we spent our time in church from Sunday morning to Saturday night.

Cicely Tyson