LOS ANGELES • Forty-five years ago, actress Cicely Tyson asked a friend to escort her to the Oscar ceremony where she was a nominee for Best Actress in family drama Sounder.
Tyson, who turns 94 next month, asked for the same favour again, the occasion being last Sunday's Governors Awards where she was to receive an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement.
But the friend died two days after the request was made, Tyson told the audience at the ceremony.
Tyson, who is African-American, also revealed that she "cried and cried and cried" after she heard that she would be honoured.
She thanked her supporters, especially Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg.
Another four recipients of honorary Oscars on Sunday were producing kingpins Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall; Lalo Schifrin, composer of scores for Dirty Harry (1971) and Mission: Impossible (1967); and publicist Marvin Levy, who has worked with Steven Spielberg for more than 40 years.