Celebrity Oprah Winfrey Shared a Touching Memory of Cicely Tyson Tributes to the late actress and trailblazer poured in after news of her passing was announced on Thursday evening. By Isabel Jones Isabel Jones Instagram Twitter Isabel is an Oregon-born and Brooklyn-based writer and editor with a special interest in pop culture. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on January 29, 2021 @ 10:23AM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Brian Killian/Getty Images On Thursday, Cicely Tyson's family announced that the iconic actress and trailblazer had passed away at the age of 96. "With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon," Tyson's manager said in a statement. "At this time, please allow the family their privacy. A formal statement and details will follow." Tributes immediately began pouring in, with everyone from Barack Obama to Oprah Winfrey sharing beautiful memories of their time with Tyson. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images In a lengthy post, the former U.S. president remembered giving Tyson the Medal of Freedom in 2016. Award-Winning Actor Cicely Tyson Has Died at 96 "Michelle and I were honored when Cicely came to the White House to accept the Medal of Freedom," he wrote, "knowing she was one of the many giants upon whose shoulders we stood — a trailblazer whose legacy couldn't be measured by her Emmys and Tony and Oscar alone, but by the barriers she broke and the dreams she made possible." Former First Lady Michelle Obama shared a tribute as well, writing that Tyson was "the personification of beauty, grace, wisdom, and strength." Winfrey recounted spending time with the Oscar-winner at the Legends Ball in 2005. "I loved her hat so much, she sent it to me afterwards," she shared. "You loved me for some reason," Ava DuVernay wrote in a touching post. "You told me so often. I thank you for that forever and I'll carry your love with me as I go." Viola Davis wrote of the impact Tyson had on her and the Black community. "You made me feel loved and seen and valued in a world where there is still a cloak of invisibility for us dark chocolate girls," Davis said. "Thank you for shifting my life. Thank you for the long talks. Thank you for loving me. Rest well." Countless other tributes from co-workers, friends, and admirers appeared on social media Thursday night and through Friday morning. Tyson will certainly be missed.