June 12, 2015

Rest In Peace: Ruby Dee (1924-2014)

Hollywood lost an icon when stage and screen legend Ruby Dee died on this day in 2014. Dee was at her home in New Rochelle, New York and surrounded by loved ones when she passed. She was 91 years old.

The Cleveland-born, New York-raised actress and activist — winner of an Emmy, a Grammy and a Screen Actors Guild award, among others — was an icon on Broadway, cinema and television. With her husband and collaborator Ossie Davis, she was also a major figure in the Civil Rights movement.

Dee’s first film role came in 1949, in the musical drama That Man of Mine. She worked frequently with Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever) and earned an Academy Award nomination in 2007 for Best Supporting Actress for American Gangster.

She appeared in the 1979 TV movie Roots: The Next Generation, and costarred with husband Ossie Davis in their own short-lived show, Ossie and Ruby! in 1980.

Her final film was the still-in-production crime drama King Dog, opposite Ice-T.

Rest in Peace Rudy!  I'm sure that Ossie was waiting for her at the pearly gates!


Producer SoulVisionTV.com said...

As we acknowledge the life of Ruby Dee, I encourage you to visit IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and review the career Ms Dee crafted. You will find some favorite roles that she portrayed, and you will probably be surprised by some others that she played.

Some of the most memorable roles for me include mother to Flipper and Gator in “Jungle Fever”, and in Mother Sister in “Do the Right Thing”. She played these roles effortlessly seeming not to be acting at all. One of her earlier roles that I found interesting was Rae Robinson in “The Jackie Robinson Story” in 1950.

Her artistic abilities are without question, but what should also be acknowledged is the advocacy she and her husband, Ossie Davis, provided for education. She and Mr. Davis championed the need for quality education for children, particularly economically disadvantaged children. They believed that all children are important; that all children deserve to be educated; and that the only way that this will happen is if we, the adults in the room, take up the cause. In 1990, I had the opportunity to interview Ms Dee and Mr. Davis and hear, first hand, their passion for learning. You can see a portion of their discussion at SoulVisionTV.com. Their advocacy, no doubt, has made a difference in many places, and in many lives; and it still drives those who desire to make a difference in the lives of the future generations.


Unknown said...

SoulVisionTV.com - Asante sana for sharing your comments with us. I didn't remember her role in Jungle Fever, however, I clearly remember her role in 'Do The Right Thing' and I was glad to see that the Academy Awards gave her props for her work with Denzel in 'American Gangster'.

Ruby and her husband were true patriots and true activists on behalf of the Black community. That we all can be as faithful to the cause as the two of them were over the years.