Cicely Tyson Playing Annalise's Mom On 'How To Get Away With Murder' Is Kind of A Big Deal, Kiddos

When in doubt, call your mom. That's gotta be a bumper sticker, right? When we mere mortals have problems we don't know how to deal with, we call our moms... and even the powerful Annalise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder is susceptible to the calming forces of a mother. On Thursday's episode of HTGAWM , Annalise calls her mother, Ophelia, because sometimes the stress of covering up your husband's murder, protecting your students, and framing your boyfriend can get to a person, dammit! And of course Annalise's mother can't be played by any actress, her mother has to be played by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress Cicely Tyson.

If you're not aware of Tyson, I guess I won't hold it against you, but it's time you learn to remember her name: I'm going to throw down the 411 on how amazing this woman is. Tyson is one of those people who has been in everything. Looking at her IMDB page will take you a decade or two to scroll through because she's had such a successful career. Her TV career is just as lucrative as her film career, and at 81, she is showing no signs of slowing down. Here's what you need to know — or maybe be reminded of — about the incredibly Cicely Tyson:

She's Has Been in the Industry Since 1951


Tyson's first role was in Frontiers of Faith in 1951, and once she started acting, there was a continuous stream of work for her. Tyson's earlier roles consisted of TV series roles and movies as big as A Man Called Adam (starring Louis Armstrong, Sammie Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra Jr.) and The Comedians (starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor).

She's An Award-Winning Actress

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Over the course of her career, has had 32 wins and 33 nominations (that's 65 total nominations, if we're counting). Some of the true standouts in her award winning and nomination are an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination in 1973 for Sounder, she has received nine total Emmy nominations (two of which she won). She has also won a SAG award, although she's been nominated four times.

She's Been in Some of Your Favorite Things

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This isn't the first time Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson have worked together. The two women both starred in The Help in 2009, which accounted for a lot of the awards that both women have been nominated for. Tyson also starred in the Oscar nominated film Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), along with Oscar nominated film Sounder. She also played Jane Pittman in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) which won many Emmys, including Tyson's Best Lead Actress award.

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