Another legend has passed. Actress and life-long civil rights activist Ruby Dee died Wednesday. She was 91 years old.
Born in Cleveland on October 27, 1922, Dee's family moved to New York during the Harlem Renaissance . She discovered theater while attending Hunter College, performing in Shakespearean productions, as well as studying at the American Negro Theatre, where she met future husband Ossie Davis.
During her groundbreaking career, Dee became the first black woman to have lead roles at the American Shakespeare Festival, and appeared in over 50 films, including A Raisin In The Sun, Uptight, Do The Right Thing and Jungle Fever. In 2008, she received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her role in American Gangster.
Off screen and offstage, Dee was committed to the cause of civil rights, and was a member of the NAACP, Congress for Racial Equality and SNCC. Both Dee and Davis eulogized Malcolm X at his funeral in 1965 and his widow Betty Shabazz at her funeral in 1997. The couple also served as goodwill ambassadors to Nigeria.
Read more about Dee's life and career HERE.