Actress Ruby Dee Dies Peacefully at 91

Article from CNN & NY Daily News

Ruby Dee PhotoRuby Ann Wallace, also known as “Ruby Dee”, the award-winning actress whose seven-decade career included triumphs on stage and screen, has died. She was 91.

Dee died peacefully at her New Rochelle, New York, home Wednesday, according to her representative, Michael Livingston.

Dee — often with her late husband, Ossie Davis — was a formidable force in both the performing arts community and the civil rights movement. She was friends with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and received the Frederick Douglass Award in 1970 from the National Urban League.

She earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in “American Gangster” (2007).

In 2005, Dee and Davis received the National Civil Rights Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Freedom award. Davis died in February of that year.

Dee’s first film role came in 1949, in the musical drama “That Man of Mine.” She played Rachel Robinson in “The Jackie Robinson Story” in 1950, and costarred opposite Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt and Cab Calloway in “St. Louis Blues” (1958).

In 1961, she recreated her stage triumph as Ruth Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun,” opposite Sidney Poitier, her Broadway costar.

She appeared in the 1979 TV movie “Roots: The Next Generation,” and costarred with Davis in their own short-lived 1980-81 show, “Ossie and Ruby!”

The two played contentious neighbors who embodied, and recaled, the social unrest of the ’60s in Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (1989). She earned her sole Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actress, for “American Gangster” (2007).

Her final film was the still-in-production crime drama “King Dog,” opposite Ice-T.

 

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