Tyler Perry, Clintons attend memorial for Cicely Tyson

A photo collage of Cicely Tyson greets people arriving just inside the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the Harlem, New York where a public viewing was held Feb. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Tyler Perry and Bill and Hillary Clinton are among the attendees of a private memorial service for Cicely Tyson at Harlem’s famed Abyssinian Baptist Church.

The memorial service Tuesday came a day after hundreds of admirers of the pioneering black actor lined up outside the church for a public viewing. Some said they had come from as far as Atlanta or Los Angeles to be there.

Also in attendance for the service are gospel singer Bebe Winans and Valerie Simpson of the duo Ashford & Simpson.

She was the first black woman to have a recurring role in a dramatic television series, the 1963 drama East Side, West Side. Her performance as a sharecropper’s wife in the 1972 movie Sounder cemented her stardom and earned her an Oscar nomination.

She went on to win two Emmy Awards for playing the 110-year-old former slave in the 1974 television drama The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and another Emmy 20 years later for Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.

At age 88, Tyson won a Tony Award for the revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful in 2013. President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 2016.