Enduring stage and screen actress Ruby Dee passed away peacefully in her New Rochelle, New York home, Wednesday. When Dee passed on, she was surrounded by her family, and according to the New York Times, Dee’s daughter, Nora Davis confirmed the death.
Dee had an acting career that spanned about seven decades, from appearing on small screen, to big screen, and garnering her Broadway stage roots. Dee was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Harlem where she developed her love and talent for the performing arts.
Dee was not only known for her contributions to the performing arts and theater, but for her formidable force in the civil rights movement. Dee used her fame to speak up, be heard and fight for African-American civil rights. Dee has also collaborated with civil rights leader, Martin Luther King and Malcom X.
Along her side was another force fighting for civil rights was long time talent, actor and husband Ossie Davis. Davis died in 2005. Davis and Dee married in 1948, and have even worked together. Both actors can be seen in Spike Lee’s 1989, “Do the Right Thing.”
First Lady Michelle Obama even took to Twitter to tweet she was “deeply saddened” by Dee’s death. “I’ll never forget seeing her in ‘Do the Right Thing’ on my first date with Barack.”
Dee, in her later years continued to work, and also received an Academy Award nomination for portraying mother to drug lord played by Oscar-winning actor, Denzel Washington in 2007, “American Gangster,” which also starred another Oscar-winning actor, Russell Crowe.
Broadway is scheduled to dim their lights at 7:45 p.m. Friday evening in New York to honor the legendary actress. Ruby Dee passed away at 91.