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Cicely Tyson Quotes on Life, Acting and More

Cicely Tyson, a stage and film actress, is known for roles in such projects as Roots, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Sounder (which won her an Oscar nomination), Fried Green Tomatoes, The Help, King (in which she played Coretta Scott King), A Woman Called Moses (where she played Harriet Tubman), The Marva Collins Story, The Women of Brewster Place and more.

It is so very difficult for me to say which of the roles I"ve done is my favorite. It"s like asking me which of three best friends is my favorite. I feel very close to each of these women because each afforded me an experience that allowed me tremendous growth.

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.

I am not a quitter. I will fight until I drop. It is just a matter of having some faith in the fact that as long as you are able to draw breath in the universe, you have a chance.

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.

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.

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.

I"ve never encouraged anyone to go into this business. But I would never discourage  anybody either, because no one could discourage me.

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.

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