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A onetime model, Tyson began her screen career with bit parts but gained fame in the early 1970s when black women were finally starting to get starring roles. She refused to take parts simply for the paycheck, remaining choosey.

'I'm very selective as I've been my whole career about what I do. Unfortunately, I'm not the kind of person who works only for money. It has to have some real substance for me to do it,' she told The Associated Press in 2013.

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