Oscar Actors: Dee, Ruby–Supporting Actress Nominee, American Gangster (Cumulative Advantage)

One of the oldest Oscar nominees, Ruby Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace, October 27, 1922.

She was an actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist.

Dee is best known for originating the role of “Ruth Younger” in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun (1961), opposite Sidney Poitier.

Her other notable film roles include The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) and Do the Right Thing (1989), directed by Spike Lee.

Dee married in 1948 Ossie Davis, with whom she frequently performed until his death in 2005.

For her performance as Mahalee Lucas, as Denzel Washington’s mother, in American Gangster (2007), Dee was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Female Actor in a Supporting Role.

Dee was a Grammy, Emmy, Obie and Drama Desk winner. She was also a National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honors and Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award recipient.

She died on June 11, 2014, age 91.

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