Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ruby Dee Passes Away!

Actress Ruby Dee passed away.

Today we lost a great cultural icon of Black cinema. The passing of Ruby Dee happened today.

We here at Journal de la Reyna send our condolences to the family of Ruby Dee.

Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922 to Gladys Hightower and Marshall Edward Nathaniel Wallace, a cook, waiter, and porter. After her mother left the family, Dee's father remarried, to Emma Amelia Benson, a schoolteacher.

She was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist.

She is perhaps best known for co-starring in the film A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and the film American Gangster (2007) for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

She has won Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards. She is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors, among scores of others awards.

Ossie Davis was Ruby's soulmate.
She would marry blues singer Frankie Dee in the mid-1940s; the couple later divorced, but she kept his surname professionally. Three years later she her soulmate Ossie Davis. Together, Dee and Davis wrote an autobiography in which they discussed their political activism and their open marriage.

Together they had three children: son, blues musician Guy Davis, and two daughters, Nora Day and Hasna Muhammad. Dee is a breast cancer survivor of more than three decades. Dee and Davis were well-known civil rights activists.

Dee is a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dee and Davis were both personal friends of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, with Davis giving the eulogy at Malcolm X's funeral in 1965.

In November 2005 Dee was awarded - along with her late husband - the Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award, presented by the National Civil Rights Museum located in Memphis.

Dee, a long-time resident of New Rochelle, New York, was inducted into the New Rochelle Walk of Fame which honors the most notable residents from throughout the community's 325 year history.

In 2009 she received an Honorary Degree from Princeton University.

She was married to actor Ossie Davis until his death in 2005. On June 11, 2014, she died at her home in New Rochelle, New York.

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