Actress and Civil Rights activist Ruby Dee passes away at 91
Atlanta, GA (CNN) - Legendary actress and activist Ruby Dee has died at the age of 91. A rep for the Hollywood star says she died peacefully at her New Rochelle, New York, home on Wednesday.
The camera always seemed to love actress Ruby Dee. She stepped into the spotlight in "The Jackie Robinson Story" in 1950. She then followed up her burgeoning stardom in "A Raisin in the Sun" opposite Sidney Poitier.
Ruby Dee: "It was a happening in my life that I shall never forget a turning point in terms of possibilities."
Ruby Ann Wallace was born on October 27, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio. However, she grew up in New York’s Harlem, dreaming of the possibilities. The actress began performing in various plays for the American Negro Theater.
It was in the theater that she met her husband Ossie Davis in 1948. They were inseparable; in fact, the couple often shared the stage and screen including films such as Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever."
Both were supporters of the civil rights movement, they marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And Davis delivered the eulogy for Malcolm X. In 2004, the couple became Kennedy Center honorees for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.
Ruby Dee: "It's a good feeling you know one of the nation's highest awards and to be granted that. We have yet to deserve it."
Their marriage produced three children and seven grandchildren. Their storybook love lasted over five decades until Ossie's death in 2005. Dee accepted the 2007 Grammy Award for best spoken word album for "With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together."
Ruby Dee was a force in her own right. Her star quality allowed her to work continuously in all mediums of entertainment. She was nominated eight times for Daytime and Prime-Time Emmys.
Dee won the Best Supporting Actress Emmy for the 1990 Made for TV movie "Decoration Day." In 2007, the then 83-year-old starred opposite Denzel Washington in "American Gangster."
Her fiery portrayal of "Mama Lucas" earned Dee a Screen Actor's Guild Award and her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Ruby Dee: "It finally comes together at this point in my life, and I've written stuff I've been on television so I've done a lot of work so to finally get an Oscar nomination is a heady kind of business."
The Oscar nominee was revered within the entertainment industry and the African-American community, and to many she was seen as a legend. With an extraordinary career that spans six decades, Ruby Dee will be remembered as a gifted artist who broke down barriers and lived a life less ordinary.