Thursday, June 12, 2014

R.I.P. Ruby Dee

October 27, 1922 - June 12, 2014

Another great has left us. The great Ruby Dee has passed today. If youngsters knew her, they did so as the widow of Ossie Davis, or that old lady from that movie. If her passing accomplishes anything, it will be to teach people that she was so much more than that. Sure, she was an actress with a great number of roles under her belt. Most notably, she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in 1961's A Raisin in the Sun. Ms. Dee would get nominated for the same award in 2007 for her role in American Gangster. She didn't win that award, but did take home a number of honors through the years. She won an Emmy, a Screen Actors' Guild Award, and an Obie.

Aside from acting, she was also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and most importantly, an activist. She even won a Grammy in 2007 for Best Spoken Word Album. During the 1960s, Ruby Dee and husband Ossie Davis were on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement. In fact, they had a vantage point very few did because they were good friends with both Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. They participated in marches. Dee herself emceed on occasion. She was truly a legend and will be missed.

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