Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, and civil rights activist. She was born on October 27, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Ruby Dee was known for her talent, intelligence, and strong presence both on stage and screen. She was one of the most prominent African-American actresses and social activists of her time.
Dee began her career in the 1940s and quickly became a respected figure in theater, film, and television. She was known for her powerful performances and her commitment to social justice issues.
In the 1950s, Ruby Dee starred in the Broadway production of “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, which marked a significant moment in American theater history. The play focused on the struggles of an African-American family and became a groundbreaking success.
In addition to her work in theater, Ruby Dee had a successful film career. Some of her notable film roles include “No Way Out” (1950), “The Jackie Robinson Story” (1950), “Edge of the City” (1957), and “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961).
Ruby Dee was also active in television and appeared in various TV shows and made-for-TV movies throughout her career. She received several Emmy Award nominations for her performances in television productions.
Beyond her acting career, Ruby Dee was deeply committed to civil rights activism. Alongside her husband, actor Ossie Davis, she was actively involved in the civil rights movement, advocating for equality and justice for African-Americans.
Throughout her life, Ruby Dee received numerous awards and honors, including the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the National Medal of Arts.
Ruby Dee passed away on June 11, 2014, at the age of 91, leaving behind a legacy of artistic brilliance and social activism. She remains an inspirational figure and a symbol of strength and resilience in the face of adversity.
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Trivia of Ruby Dee
Certainly! Here are some trivia facts about Ruby Dee:
- Early Life: Ruby Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace on October 27, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
- Poetry: In addition to her acting career, Ruby Dee was a talented poet and writer. She published several books of poetry, including “My One Good Nerve” and “Two Ways to Count to Ten.”
- Marriage to Ossie Davis: Ruby Dee and actor Ossie Davis were married in 1948 and remained one of Hollywood’s most beloved and enduring couples until his passing in 2005.
- Civil Rights Activism: Dee and Davis were strong advocates for civil rights and social justice. They actively participated in the civil rights movement and worked alongside prominent figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
- “A Raisin in the Sun”: Ruby Dee’s role as Ruth Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun” was critically acclaimed and helped break barriers for African-American actors in the theater world.
- Triple Threat: Ruby Dee was known for her versatility as an artist. She excelled in acting, writing, and poetry, showcasing her artistic talents in multiple forms.
- “Do the Right Thing”: In 1989, Ruby Dee had a memorable role as Mother Sister in Spike Lee’s acclaimed film “Do the Right Thing,” which brought her further recognition and acclaim.
- Emmy Win: Ruby Dee won an Emmy Award for her performance in the TV movie “Decoration Day” (1990), in which she played a strong-willed grandmother.
- Hollywood Walk of Fame: In 1994, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis received a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, recognizing their contributions to the entertainment industry.
- Longevity: Ruby Dee had a remarkable career that spanned over seven decades, leaving a lasting impact on the world of acting and social activism.
- Theatrical Background: Before her successful film and television career, Ruby Dee gained experience in theater and performed in Broadway productions.
- Influential Figure: Throughout her life, Ruby Dee was an influential figure in both the entertainment industry and the fight for civil rights, and she inspired generations of actors and activists alike.
Ruby Dee’s contributions to the arts and her tireless efforts in the pursuit of justice and equality continue to be celebrated and remembered fondly by people worldwide.
Movies and webseries Ruby Dee
As of my last update in September 2021, Ruby Dee was primarily known for her work in movies and television rather than web series, as she was active during a time when web series were not common. Here are some of her notable movies and TV appearances:
- No Way Out (1950) – Ruby Dee played the role of Edie Johnson in this film noir, starring alongside Sidney Poitier.
- The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) – She appeared as Rae Robinson, the wife of Jackie Robinson, in this biographical sports drama.
- Edge of the City (1957) – Ruby Dee co-starred as the wife of a fellow laborer in this drama alongside Sidney Poitier and John Cassavetes.
- A Raisin in the Sun (1961) – She reprised her role as Ruth Younger in the film adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s play, which earned her critical acclaim.
- Gone Are the Days! (Purlie Victorious) (1963) – Ruby Dee starred as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins in this musical comedy-drama, based on Ossie Davis’s play “Purlie Victorious.”
- Buck and the Preacher (1972) – She appeared as Ruth, the wife of a wagon master, in this Western film directed by Sidney Poitier.
- Do the Right Thing (1989) – Ruby Dee had a memorable role as Mother Sister in this acclaimed film directed by Spike Lee.
- Jungle Fever (1991) – She portrayed Lucinda Purify, the mother of Wesley Snipes’ character, in this drama directed by Spike Lee.
- The Richard Boone Show (1963) – Ruby Dee guest-starred in this anthology drama series.
- Peyton Place (1968) – She had a recurring role as Alma Miles on this prime-time soap opera.
- Roots: The Next Generations (1979) – Ruby Dee played the character Queen Haley in this miniseries, the sequel to the groundbreaking series “Roots.”
- Little Bill (1999-2004) – She lent her voice to the character Alice the Great in this children’s animated series.
- Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (1999) – Ruby Dee earned an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Sadie Delany in this TV movie.
These are some of Ruby Dee’s notable film and television appearances. As for web series, she was not known for participating in such projects during her career. However, her work in movies and TV left a lasting impact on the industry, and she is remembered as an influential figure and a talented actress.