27 Facts About Ruby Dee


Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist.


Ruby Dee originated the role of "Ruth Younger" in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun.


Ruby Dee was a Grammy, Emmy, Obie and Drama Desk winner.


Ruby Dee was a National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honors and Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award recipient.


Ruby Dee was born on October 27,1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Gladys and Marshall Edward Nathaniel Wallace, a cook, waiter and porter.


Ruby Dee joined the American Negro Theatre as an apprentice, working with Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Hilda Simms.


Ruby Dee made several appearances on Broadway, such as her first role in ANT's 1946 production of Anna Lucasta.


Ruby Dee received national recognition for her role in the 1950 film The Jackie Robinson Story.


In 1965, Ruby Dee performed in lead roles at the American Shakespeare Festival as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew and Cordelia in King Lear, becoming the first black actress to portray a lead role in the festival.


In 1969, Ruby Dee appeared in 20 episodes of Peyton Place.


Ruby Dee appeared in one episode of The Golden Girls' sixth season.


Ruby Dee played Queen Haley in Roots: The Next Generations, a 1979 miniseries.


Ruby Dee was nominated for eight Emmy Awards, winning once for her role in the 1990 TV film Decoration Day.


Ruby Dee was nominated for her television guest appearance in the China Beach episode, "Skylark".


Ruby Dee appeared in Spike Lee's 1989 film Do the Right Thing, and his 1991 film Jungle Fever.


Ruby Dee was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her portrayal of Mama Lucas in American Gangster.


Ruby Dee won the Screen Actors Guild award for the same performance.


At 85 years of age, Ruby Dee is currently the third oldest nominee for Best Supporting Actress, behind Gloria Stuart and Judi Dench when nominated for her role in American Gangster.


On February 12,2009, Ruby Dee joined the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College orchestra and chorus, along with the Riverside Inspirational Choir and NYC Labor Choir, in honoring Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday at the Riverside Church in New York City.


Under the direction of Maurice Peress, they performed Earl Robinson's The Lonesome Train: A Music Legend for Actors, Folk Singers, Choirs, and Orchestra, in which Ruby Dee was the narrator.


Ruby Dee was a breast cancer survivor of more than three decades.


Ruby Dee was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality, the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.


Ruby Dee was as an active member of the Harlem Writers Guild for over 40 years.


In 1963, Ruby Dee emceed the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.


Ruby Dee was inducted into the Westchester County Women's Hall of Fame on March 30,2007, joining such other honorees as Hillary Clinton and Nita Lowey.


Ruby Dee died on June 11,2014, at her home in New Rochelle, New York, from natural causes at the age of 91.


Ruby Dee was cremated, and her ashes are held in the same urn as that of Davis, with the inscription "In this thing together".