An actress who achieved legend status for her seven-decade career on screen and on the stage has died. CNN reports that Ruby Dee "died peacefully Wednesday at her New Rochelle, New York, home, according to her representative, Michael Livingston." Dee was 91.
"Dee — often with her late husband, Ossie Davis — was a formidable force in both the performing arts community and the civil rights movement. The couple were master and mistress of ceremonies at the 1963 March on Washingon, and she was friends with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Dee received the Frederick Douglass Award in 1970 from the New York Urban League," the story reports.
Her screen credits included the movies "The Jackie Robinson Story" (1950), "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961), "Buck and the Preacher" (1972) and "Do the Right Thing" (1989). She was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the 2007 movie "American Gangster."
She also worked in television, receiving six Primetime Emmy nominations and winning an Emmy in 1991 for "Decoration Day."
"Broadway star Audra McDonald paid tribute to Dee when she accepted a Tony Award on Sunday, crediting Dee, Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll and Billie Holiday for making her career possible," the CNN report notes. "McDonald won a best actress Tony in 2004 for playing the same role Dee created on Broadway in 1959 and in the 1961 film version of 'Raisin.'"
Gil Robertson IV of the African American Film Critics Association paid tribute to Dee in a statement, saying: "The members of the African American Film Critics Association are deeply saddened at the loss of actress and humanitarian Ruby Dee. Throughout her seven-decade career, Ms. Dee embraced different creative platforms with her various interpretations of black womanhood and also used her gifts to champion for Human Rights. Her strength, courage and beauty will be greatly missed."