Celebrated stage and screen actress Ruby Dee, passed away on Wednesday at age 91. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tomorrow night, Friday, June 13th, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.
Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist whose seven-decade career spanned stage, radio, television and film. Broadway credits include: Checkmates, Purlie Victorious, A Raisin in the Sun, The Smile of the World, A Long Way From Home, Jeb, Anna Lucasta, and South Pacific.
“Ruby Dee inspired so many people both on stage and off. At the Tony Awards last Sunday, both Audra McDonald and Kenny Leon paid tribute to Ruby Dee during their acceptance speeches,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. “I’ve long admired Ruby Dee’s talent as a performer and her tireless activism for civil rights. Our thoughts are with her family and she will be deeply missed.”
Dee was married to actor Ossie Davis until his death in 2005. In addition to being performers, both were active in the Civil Rights movement and worked to better the interests of blacks in the entertainment industry and American society, as well as fighting injustice everywhere. Dee and Davis served as masters of ceremonies for the historic 1963 March on Washington. Frequent collaborators, they shared billing in eleven stage productions and five movies, a radio show, “The Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee Story Hour,” and a joint autobiography, “With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together.”