Veteran Roots actress Cicely Tyson, 92, presented the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series with Anika Noni Rose at the 69th Emmy Awards.


The pair walked to the center of the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd. Tyson was supposed to say the first few lines of their spiel, but was hit with a sudden wave of stage fright. After a moment of silence, Rose spoke into Tyson’s ear, and then she confessed, “I’m so nervous!” Rose continued to hug and support her.

No one wanted to rush the legend, of course. Even on Twitter, fans wrote posts of support, saying for Tyson to take her time. “We LOVE you @IAmCicelyTyson & you take as much time as you want. You are Cicely Tyson. #Emmys,” tweeted American Horror Story actress Adina Porter.

Luckily Tyson felt the love, and completed the presenter job flawlessly and with grace. Reese Witherspoon took home the award for her work on Big Little Lies, one of the biggest winning shows of the night. In her acceptance speech, she took a stand for gender diversity in Hollywood.

Tyson is known for her work on 1968’s Roots, as well as The Heart is a Lonely HunterSounder, and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, for which she won two Emmy awards.

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