Cicely Tyson paid tribute to her 'precious' daughter Joan in memoir released days before she died aged 96

CICELY Tyson paid tribute to her daughter, Joan, in her memoir, which was released just days before she died aged 96.

The Oscar winner dedicated her book, Just As I Am, to Joan, who she had a "fragile and precious" relationship with.

Whilst it was widely reported that she had no children, Cicely talks about "Joan" in Just As I Am, which was released on January 26 – two days before she died.

She revealed she gave birth to Joan aged just 17 and that her daughter has largely stayed out of the spotlight.

The actress described in detail her daughter’s birth, upbringing and the way her career affected her only child.

The Help star said they "continue to work on our relationship, as fragile as it is precious," USA Today reported.

The award-winning actress dedicated the book to Joan, who she said is "the one who has paid the greatest price for this gift to all".

Little is known about Joan and there are no photos available of her. It is not clear who Joan's father is.

Cicely was married twice in her life – to Miles Davis and Kenneth Franklin.

At the age of just 18, Tyson married her first husband, Kenneth Franklin, on December 27, 1942.

But he abandoned her after less than eighteen months of marriage, according to Tyson’s divorce decree.

Cicely was married to the jazz trumpet legend Miles from 1981 to 1988. 

They began dating in the 1960s when he was in the process of divorcing dancer Frances Davis, before calling it off.

The pair rekindled their relationship in 1978, and got married three years later on November 26, 1981. 

Cicely's manager, Larry Thompson, said she regarded her memoir as a window into her "personal and professional life".

“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing," Larry said in a statement.

“Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree.”

Cicely specialized in portraying strong black women caught up in life’s struggles during her incredible 70-year career.

The How To Get Away With Murder star's prowess onscreen earned her three Emmys and a Tony Award – and countless nominations for other accolades.

She portrayed nanny and family's maid, Constantine Jefferson, in the 2011 drama, The Help, which starred Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Emma Stone.

She had notable roles in other films, including The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (1968), Sounder, (1972), and Fried Green Tomatoes, (1991).

Cicely made history by nabbing the first recurring role for a black woman in a television series when she appeared as Jane Foster in the CBS drama East Side/West Side from 1963 to 1964.

She was nominated a total of 16 times at the Emmys throughout her career, and won for Supporting Actress for her role in the 1994 for an adaptation of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.

Her best pal, Oprah Winfrey, wrote after her death: “Cicely decided early on that her work as an actor would be more than a job. 

“She used her career to illuminate the humanity in Black people. The roles she played reflected her values; she never compromised. Her life so fully lived is a testimony to Greatness.”

Euphoria star Zendaya spoke highly of her career idol, saying on Instagram: “This one hurts, today we honor and celebrate the life of one of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you Cicely Tyson. Rest in great power.”

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