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Ruby Dee ACTOR


Ruby Dee was born on October 27th, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio with the birth name Ruby Anne Wallace.  Her mother was Gladys Hightower and her father, Marshall Edward Nathaniel made his living as a waiter, cook and porter.  When she was young her mother left the family and her father was left to raise Dee, her two sisters and her brother.
Her father Marshal soon married a school teacher, Emma Benson and the family moved to Harlem, New York where Dee spent her childhood years.  She attended Hunter College High School and then went to Hunter College and earned two degrees in French and Spanish. 

She developed an interest for the performing arts while at College and joined the American Negro Theater (ANT).  It was then that she took on the stage name Ruby Dee.  While at college, Dee also took a class in radio training and was offered a small part in the radio serial called, "Nora Drake".  
In 1945, upon completing college she used her degree to work as a translator, but always knew in her heart that one day she we follow her pursuit of a career in the entertainment industry.  Only one year later, Dee was lucky enough to get her first break into Broadway with a role in, "Jeb".  She also met Ossie Davis, an actor who she would later marry on December 9th, 1948. 
In 1946, Dee became involved in film working on, "Love in Syncopation" and in 1950 she worked on, "The Jackie Robinson Story", in which she began to really receive recognition for being a good actress.  Another well known film was, "Edge of the City" (1957).
Dee continued to work in film, but also chose to keep up her theater work.  She worked in several plays such as, "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Purlie Victorious".  She later created her stage role on film for, "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961).  Dee also appeared in some controversial political films such as, "Gone are the Days" (1963) and "The Incident" (1967) which actually assisted in helping other African American actors and film makers get accepted into the industry.  At the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut in 1965, Dee became the first African American actress to portray major roles on stage.  Some of her other more well known film roles, "Buck and The Preacher" (1972), "Roots" (1978) and "Do the Right Thing" (1989),
Ruby Dee is not only a talented actress, she is an amazing woman and is highly involved in many good causes.  She was also the receiver of various honors and awards.  Dee is an active member of the national Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).  She and her husband were also very good friends with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.  Together with her husband Davis, they produced, "The Ruby Dee/Ossie Davis Story Hour" for the National Black Network and in 2007 the couple wrote a autobiography discussing their political beliefs and personal information on their marriage.   
As an actress, Dee was honored as well with various Awards.  In 1971 she received a Drama Desk Award for outstanding performance for, "Boesman and Lena" and an Obie Award for Best Performance by an Actress for the same production.  She was nominated in total for eight Emmy Awards and won one for her role in a television film, "Decoration Day" (1990).  Alongside her husband, Davis and Dee were awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1995, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2001 and again in 2004 they were honored together receiving the Kennedy Centers Honors.  Then in 2007 the couple again earned another honor, the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, "With Ossie and Ruby: On This Life Together".
Dee continued to work as an actress, hold on to a successful marriage and continued to support causes she believed in well into late 2000.   For her portrayal of the character Mama Lucas in, "American Gangster" (2007), Dee was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won the SAG award for the same film.  This made her the second oldest nominee for Best Supporting actress to date, only Gloria Stuart for her role on, "Titanic" was the oldest at age 87.  In 2010, another honor was given to Dee, The Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, "America". 
Overall, Ruby Dee appeared in over 50 films.  She worked as an actress, activist, playwright, poet, screen writer and even a journalist.  Dee and Davis had three children together, Guy Davis, Nora Day and Hasna Muhammed.  Ruby Dee is also a survivor of breast cancer which she has been battling for thirty years.  She was inducted into the Westchester County Women's Hall of Fame on March 30th, 2007 and in 2009, Princeton University gave her an Honorary Degree.  Dee lost her husband in 2005 and continues to battle breast cancer and be an active part of society.

2010  Dream Street
2010  Red & Blue Marbles
2010  Video Girl 
2010  Drama Mamas!
2010  The Middle of Nowhere
2010  Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age
2009  The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll
2009  A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School  
2007  All About Us
2007  American Gangster
2007  Steam
2006  No. 2
2006  The Way Back Home
2006  Lockdown, USA
2003  Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives 
2003  Beah: A Black Woman Speaks
2002  Baby of the Family
1999  Baby Geniuses
1998  A Time to Dance: The Life and Work of Norma Canner 
1996  Mr. & Mrs. Loving
1995  Just Cause
1997  A Simple Wish
1994  The Stand
1993  Cop and a Half
1992  Color Adjustment
1991  Jungle Fever
1990  Love at Large
1989  Do the Right Thing
1982  Cat People
1976  Countdown at Kusini
1973  Wattstax
1972  Buck and the Preacher
1972  Black Girl
1970  King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis
1968  Up Tight!
1967  The Incident
1963  The Balcony
1963  Gone Are the Days!
1961  A Raisin in the Sun
1961  Purlie Victorious
1959  Take a Giant Step
1958  Our Virgin Island
1958  St. Louis Blues
1957  Edge of the City
1956  The Great American Pastime
1954  Go, Man, Go!
1951  The Tall Target
1950  The Jackie Robinson Story
1950  No Way Out
1949  The Fight Never Ends
1948  What a Guy
1946  That Man of Mine  

Matinee Classics - The Jackie Robinson Story starring Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee, Minor Watson, Louise Beavers
Matinee Classics - Buck and the Preacher starring Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Cameron Mitchell, Nita Talbot and Clarence Muse

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