Tyler Perry on Cicely Tyson’s death: ‘This one brought me to my knees’

'She was the grandmother I never had and the wisdom tree that I could always sit under to fill my cup.'

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Tyler Perry reacted to the death of Cicely Tyson in a touching tribute shared on Instagram Thursday. 

theGRIO previously reported, Tyson, the pioneering Black actor who touched TV viewers’ hearts in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, died Jan.28 at age 96.

Tyson’s death was announced by her family, via her manager Larry Thompson, who did not immediately provide additional details.

Read More: Cicely Tyson, groundbreaking award-winning actor, dead at 96

Perry said news of her passing “brought me to my knees,” he shared on social media.

“I was sitting at the table working when I got this overwhelming feeling to watch Miss Jane Pittman. I hadn’t seen the movie in years. I didn’t even understand the feeling to turn it on, but I did anyway. Not 12 minutes into the movie my phone rang. It was Oprah calling to tell me that Cicely had died,” his message began.

“This one brought me to my knees,” Perry continued. “She was the grandmother I never had and the wisdom tree that I could always sit under to fill my cup. My heart breaks in one beat, while celebrating her life in the next. To think that she lived for 96 years and I got to be a part of the last 16 brings me great joy. She called me son,” he wrote. 

“Well, today your son grieves your loss and will miss our long talks, your laughter from your belly, and your very presence. Always so regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen. Every time we would talk I would ask, “How are you?” and you would say, “I’m still here. He must have something he wants me to do.” Well, I think it’s safe to say you have done all you were put here to do, and we are all better for it,” Perry concluded. 

His message accompanied a series of photos of him and Tyson together on set and at various events.

Read More: Hollywood and more react to death of beloved actress Cicely Tyson

The Tony Award and Golden Globe-winning actress starred in several of Perry’s movies including Madea’s Family Reunion and Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

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

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