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Ruby Dee: Civil Rights Activist & Actress Dies At 91

Thu, June 12, 2014 1:05pm EDT by Emily Longeretta 4 Comments
Ruby Dee Dead
Craig Barritt/Entertainment/Getty

The world has lost a legend. Actress and civil right activist Ruby Dee passed away at the age of 91 on June 11, her rep has confirmed to multiple outlets.

From the big screen in Hollywood, to the stage on Broadway, Ruby Dee was extremely successful — and more than anything, it was off screen. She was one of the most powerful civil rights activist of her time and a huge part of the Civil Rights movement. We are sad to hear about her death at her home in Rochelle, NY.

Ruby Dee Dead At 89

“Miss Dee passed away peacefully surrounded by her family from age related causes. Services will be private,” her team told

Ruby Dee was so much more than an actress. Alongside her late husband Ossie Davis, the couple changed the Civil Rights movement with their friends, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

When she wasn’t making influential decisions that helped shape the world today, she was on stage or on the big screen. She starred in Broadway in various shows like “Two Hah Hahs and a Homeboy” and “Take It From the Top!,” and did many movies. She starred in her roles in Jungle Fever and Do the Right Thing, and A Raisin in the Sun. In 2007, she starred in American Gangster and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Award-winning was a trend she lived by! In ’07, she tied for the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album with President Jimmy Carter. The album was With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together.

She and her husband were praised frequently for their success together, and in 2005, they received the National Civil Rights Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Freedom award. However, in February of ’05, he passed away.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ruby’s family at this time, and she will always be remembered for her incredible impact on the world.

— Emily Longeretta

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