RUBY DEE Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Ruby Dee                                                                               
Birth name: Ruby Ann Wallace                                                                 
Born: 27 October 1924 Cleveland, Ohio                                                       
Ruby Dee (born October 27, 1924) is an American Academy Award-nominated and                 
Screen Actors Guild Award-winning actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter,                   
journalist, and activist.                                                                   
Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Gladys                     
Hightower and Marshall Edward Nathaniel Wallace, a cook, waiter, and porter.                 
After her mother left the family, Dee's father married Emma Amelia (nee Benson),             
a schoolteacher. Dee grew up in Harlem, New York. She graduated in                           
1945 from Hunter College with degrees in French and Spanish, and is a member of             
Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Inc. She made several appearances on Broadway before             
receiving national recognition for her role in the 1950 film The Jackie Robinson             
Dee's career in acting has crossed all major forms of media over a span of eight             
decades, including the films A Raisin in the Sun, in which she recreated her                 
stage role as a suffering housewife in the projects, and Edge of the City. She               
played both roles opposite Sidney Poitier. During the 1960s, Dee appeared in                 
such politically charged films as Gone Are the Days and The Incident, which is               
recognized as helping pave the way for young African-American actors and                     
She has been nominated for eight Emmy Awards, winning once for her role in                   
the 1990 TV film Decoration Day. She was also nominated for her television guest             
appearance in the China Beach episode, "Skylark." Her late husband Ossie Davis (1917-2005)   
also appeared in that episode.                                                               
In 2007 the winner of the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album was tied                   
between Dee and Ossie Davis for "With Ossie And Ruby: In This Life Together",               
and former President Jimmy Carter.                                                           
She has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2007             
for her portrayal of Mama Lucas in American Gangster. She won the SAG award for             
the same performance. At 83 years old, Dee is currently the second oldest                   
nominee for Best Supporting Actress, behind Gloria Stuart who was 87 for her                 
role in Titanic. This was Dee's first nomination. It was also significant in                 
that hers is the second shortest performance (at approximately five minutes)                 
ever to be nominated for an acting Oscar, following that of the cameo appearance             
of Sylvia Miles in Midnight Cowboy.