Awards season is upon us, so it’s time to start worrying which of our “Golden Age” of Hollywood legends will be receiving honorary awards or presenting, so we can brace ourselves in case they have an advanced case of the olds. Sometimes there’s nothing to worry about as when 96-year-old Betty White showed she’s still got the magic when she came out at this year’s Emmy Awards. And sometimes it’s a painful, awkward, slog as when 101-year-old Kirk Douglas was wheeled out next to Catherine Zeta-Jones’ titties at The Golden Globes. Last night, The Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences held their annual Governors Awards and presented Cicely Tyson with an honorary Oscar for her life’s work. Cicely is 93-years-old, and proof that virtuous living and the regular application of moisturizer, can do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit.
Here’s Cicely’s acceptance speech. I tried to remain as composed and regal as Cicely herself while I was watching it, but ended up a sniveling mess. Maybe you’ll fare better.
She started off speaking so slowly I got nervous for a minute. But then I looked at those silver gloves and that cinched waist and remembered how my queen sets the stage. Cicely was taking us on a motherfucking journey. I can’t tell a 1-minute joke without losing the plot halfway through, but not Miss Cicely. She stood there for 11 minutes and masterfully gave us dates, names, emotions, and recounted dialog from 40 years ago. Fact check Miss Cicely, I dare you.
Unbelievably, this is the first Oscar that Cicely has received. She was nominated in 1973 for Sounder, but lost to Liza Minelli for Cabaret. But that’s it! She was never nominated again. At the awards ceremony, Tyler Perry had this to say about her (via Variety):
She is a queen to us. We bow down to her,” he said. “It’s not just because she was very selective of the roles she chose over the years because she would only do roles that served us as African Americans. It’s not just because she’s an activist or a philanthropist, but it’s because she was such a great example, an amazing woman with a good heart and a good soul. And we honor her for just being who she is.”
He forgot to say “with the exception of Madea’s Family Reunion.” She did that one for the check.