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Ruby Dee dead at 91: Oscar-nominated actress had a long and respected career

Ruby Dee
Ruby Dee
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Oscar-nominated actress Ruby Dee died at the age of 91 at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y., on June 11, 2014. According to CNN, a spokesperson for Dee said that Dee passed away peacefully in her sleep. Dee received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 2007's "American Gangster," which starred Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. She won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in the movie.

Dee was born in Cleveland on Oct. 27, 1922. Her other well-known movies include 1950's "The Jackie Robinson Story," 1961's "A Raisin in the Sun," 1989's "Do the Right Thing" and 1991's "Jungle Fever." Her second husband and frequent co-star Ossie Davis died in 2005, at the age of 87. The couple had been married since 1948. Dee's first husband was Frankie Dee Brown; they divorced in 1945 after four years of marriage.

Throughout her long career, which began in the 1940s, Dee was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards and won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for her role for 1990's "Decoration Day." She was also nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards for her work in the cartoons "Whitewash" and "Little Bill." She was also a cast member in the soap operas "Guiding Light" and "Peyton Place" in the late 1960s.

Some of her more well-known TV shows included the 1979 miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations," the 1980 to 1982 series "Ossie and Ruby!" and the 2005 TV-movie "Their Eyes Were Watching God."

In 2007, she and Davis won a Grammy for the spoken-word album "With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together." In addition, Dee appeared in several stage productions throughout her career. She and Davis were also well-known civil-rights activists. Dee also survived breast cancer. Among her numerous accolades were the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.

A documentary "Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee," directed by Dee's grandson Muta' Ali Muhammad, premieres at the American Black Film Festival in New York City on June 22, 2014. Dee is survived by her three children: son Guy Davis and daughters Nora Day and Hasna Muhammad, as well as various grandchildren.

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