Film and theater actress Ruby Dee has died at 91 years old in New York on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Dee, who is also a civil rights activist, reportedly died from natural causes in her home in New Rochelle. Nora Davis Day, who is Ruby’s daughter, confirmed the sad news. Ruby was married to actor Ossie Davis, who died in Feb. 4, 2005. Aside from her daughter Nora, Ruby left behind her other children namely Guy Davis and Hasna Muhammad Davis.
According to the New York Times, Dee was a a leading advocate for civil rights. Her Wikipedia page states that she was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
Dee was said to be intelligent, passionate and very talented, not just with acting, but with singing as well. She has won numerous awards for her outstanding talent including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for “Decoration Day,” the 2000 Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for “With Ossie And Ruby: In This Life Together” in 2007, the 2008 African–American Film Critics Best Supporting Actress for “American Gangster” and the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role also for “American Gangster.”
Aside from her roles in “American Gangster,” which earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination, Dee was also known for her role as Ruth Younger in the 1961 film “A Raisin in the Sun.” She appeared alongside acclaimed actor Sidney Poitier, who became the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for the film “Lilies of the Field.”
WATCH the video of Ruby Dee talking about her role in “A Raisin in the Sun” below:
Her last film was the 2013 Lifetime movie “Betty and Coretta.” Her television credits include appearances in “Guiding Light,” “Golden Girls,” “Their Eyes Were Watching God, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “America.”
As for her theater work, she appeared in various stage productions including “King Lear,” “The Taming of the Shrew” “The Birds,” “Hamlet,” “Agamemnon” and “The Glass Menagerie.”
It’s very unfortunate to lose a fine actress such as Ruby Dee, who died at 91 in New York. But, her legacy will live on because of her various accomplishments, not just in show business, but as a passionate civil rights activist as well. R.I.P. Ruby Dee. She will be sorely missed. For more updates about the latest entertainment news, including TV, movies and celebrities, stay tuned here at Movie News Guide (MNG).
WATCH the video of Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” below: