America's First Lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to acting legend Cicely Tyson at the White House on Monday (24Feb14) after screening her latest Tv movie The Trip to Bountiful as part of African-American History Month.

Tyson joined co-stars Vanessa Williams, Blair Underwood and Keke Palmer at the movie event, which the President's wife hosted as part of a salute to African-Americans who have set an example.

She said, "Ms. Tyson's story is about so much more than honours and accolades. It's really about character and determination. It's about breaking barriers - not just for herself, but for all of us who are blessed by her legacy."

She went on to praise the actress for turning down multiple offers to play prostitutes and morally corrupt characters and instead portraying inspiring, "strong, resilient women" including abolitionist Harriet Tubman and the mother of Kunta Kinte in Tv mini-series Roots.

The latest film version of Horton Foote's play will air in America on 8 March (14).