Born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 27, 1924
Actress, Civil Rights Leader, Writer
The forever vibrant Ruby Dee is known as an icon with an inspirational presence in the African American culture. As a civil rights leader, actress, and author, she had to overcome adversity, and has made a formidable impression in the struggle for equal rights.
Dee as a young woman
On television, Ruby Dee was nominated for seven Emmy Awards, finally winning one in 1991 for her role in Decorating Day. She was also honored with an Obie Award for her title role in Athol Fugard’s Boesman & Lena, and earned an Ace Award for her role as Mary Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Ruby Dee was further honored with a Literary Guild Award for her inspiring work with children’s stories.
Davis and Dee co-authored a joint autobiography-With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together (William Morrow/Harper Collins, 1998), written in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. The two received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Silver Circle Award in 1994 and are inductees in the Theater Hall of Fame and the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame. In 1995 they were celebrated as "national treasures" when they received the National Medal of Arts. In 2000, they received the Screen Actors Guild's highest honor, the Life Achievement Award. In December 2004, in one of their last major public appearances together, Davis and Dee were among the artists awarded the Kennedy Center Honors for their life's work. In addition, at the 2007 Grammy awards, Davis and Dee were tied winners in the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album with former President Jimmy Carter.
With over 50 years of collaborative works with her husband, the never-acquiescent civil rights activist has shown her willingness to work for the benefit of others. From her arrest during the Amadou Diallo protest to celebrating her wedding anniversary by raising funds for small playhouse theaters, her battle for equal rights has clearly not reached its end.
She and her late husband Ossie Davis, who passed away in February 2005, have three children: son, blues musician Guy Davis, and two daughters, Nora Day, and Hasna Muhammad.
• Ruby Dee's Wikipedia page
• Ruby Dee's IMDb profile
• Ruby Dee Roundtable Discussion
• Ossie Davis' Visionary Page
URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/deeruby