Actress and Activist Ruby Dee Dead at 91

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Ruby Dee has died at age 91. The actress starred in plays and over 50 films during a career that spanned nearly 70 years.

Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, she was a civil rights activist who was awarded the National Civil Rights Museum's Lifetime Achievement Freedom award in 2005 alongside her husband of 56 years, Ossie Davis.

According to her representatives, Dee died peacefully in New Rochelle, New York of age-related causes. She leaves three children.

Many consider Dee's performance as Ruth Younger in the 1961 film 'Raisin in the Sun' to be her breakout performance. In 2007 she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for he role in 'American Gangster.'  She also won a Grammy Award and an Emmy.

Dee's exceptional life and career are an inspiration to man. Actress Audra McDonald spoke her name as an inspiration and trailblazer while accepting her record-breaking sixth Tony Award earlier this week.

Her grandson will soon premiere a documentary about her life with her husband.

Ruby Dee will be missed.

Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or

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