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Legendary Actress, Activist Ruby Dee Dies

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Legendary actress and activist Ruby Dee has died. A rep says Dee passed away Wednesday night surrounded by family at her home in New Rochelle, New York. She was 91.

A pioneer for African-American women on screen and stage, Dee’s numerous accolades include a Grammy, an Emmy, a Screen Actors Guild Award, the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.

The Cleveland-born actress first gained national recognition for her role as Rachel Robinson in the 1950 movie “The Jackie Robinson Story.” She also played the role of Ruth Younger in both the Broadway and film versions of “A Raisin In The Sun.”

With late husband Ossie Davis, Dee co-starred in the short-lived series “Ossie and Ruby!” in the 1980s. The couple also appeared together in the Spike Lee films “Do The Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever.”

In 2007 at the age of 83, Dee received an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie “American Gangster.” One of her final films, a crime-drama co-starring rapper-actor Ice-T, is still in production.

In addition to acting, Dee and Davis were also well known for their activism during the Civil Rights movement and were both personal friends of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Theirs was one of the most enduring Hollywood marriages, lasting from 1948 until Davis’ death in 2005.

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