The legendary actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee has passed away.
Ruby was at home in New Rochelle, NY when she died Wednesday night. She was surrounded by family at the time of her death, according to sources close to the family.
Ruby was a pioneer for African-American women in Hollywood … and is perhaps best known for her starring role in the 1960s film “A Raisin in the Sun” — and her roles in the Spike Lee movies “Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever.” Her most recent big budget Hollywood film was “American Gangster” … she played Denzel Washington’s mother.
Ruby was a poet and screenwriter. She won a Grammy, an Emmy … and also received the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.
She and her late husband Ossie Davis — with whom she frequently co-starred — were also hugely active in the Civil Rights movement — often demonstrating with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
“We used the arts as part of our struggle,” she said at an appearance in Jackson, Miss., in 2006. “Ossie said he knew he had to conduct himself differently with skill and thought.”
The couple were married for nearly 50 years marriage until his death in 2005. They had three children together.
She was 91 years old.