The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Cicely Tyson ages from 19 to 110 in the role of Jane Pittman, a fictional African-American woman whose life began in slavery and ended at the inception of the Civil Rights Movement. Northern journalist Quentin Lerner (Michael Murphy) travels to the racially polarized South of 1962 to interview Ms. Pittman for a potential book. Her life unfolds in flashbacks, many painful and unpleasant, but just as many are uplifting and hopeful. The film concludes with one of the most indelible images of all '70s television: the centenarian Jane Pittman defiantly drinking from a segregated water fountain for the first time. Based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines and filmed on location in Baton Rouge, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman won nine Emmy Awards, including Best Actress (Tyson), Director (John Korty), and Screenplay (Tracy Keenan Wynn). The film premiered January 31, 1974, on CBS.