Millions of admirers that span across many generations are learning about the death of the late Mrs. Ruby “Dee” Davis. Many are feeling “remorseful and devastated” at the loss of the great entertainer. Dee was a celebrated American Hollywood silver screen actress for over fifty years. She began her career acting before many of the people living today.
In 1924 Ruby Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio. Back then Ruby Dee and her parents were still faced with the hardships of segregation and inequality. However by the time she reached twenty years old she had already starred in a major production by the American Negro Theatre called, On Strivers Row. For 5 years following her first public debut, Davis continued to get parts in the American Negro Theatre productions. During this period she also had a very short marriage with the then popular blues artist Frankie Dee, and she also earned a bachelor’s degree for Spanish and French at Hunter’s college. In 1945, Dee got another lucky break. This time she made it to Broadway and played in South Pacific and then costarred in the production, Jeb, along with her husband, Ossie Davis.
Afterwards Ruby Dee began to get leading roles in Hollywood films. Ruby Dee and the venerable Sidney Poitier were featured together in 5 Hollywood films during the 1950s. The Jackie Robinson Story, No Way Out, Go Man Go, Edge of the City, and Our Virgin Island. Though Mrs. Dee decided to retain her stage name after her previous marriage ended in 1946, she remarried Ossie Davis in 1948. Their marriage lasted for 56 years until Dee was predeceased by her husband in 2005.
Ruby has accumulated millions fans from the Y and Z generations who will also miss her greatly. Davis career as an actress has stretched across the generations. Fans from the generations Y era may know Davis best for the role in Lorraine Hannsberry’s, longest running Broadway play, A Raisin in the Sun. In 1961, the play was also filmed on the movie screen. In the early 80s, she also played significant parts in blockbuster movies, Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, and American Gansta. In 2007 she was eventually nominated for an Oscar for her character in American Gansta where she played the mother of Denzel Washington. In 2008 she was honored for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actress in a Supporting Role.” That very same year she was acknowledged by Black Enterprise as their 2008 Women of Power and Legacy Award Winner.
With well over 60 years gaining fans from several generations it is definitely a great loss to people everywhere. During the entire era of her life she has established herself as an acclaimed actress, poet, activist, playwright, screenwriter, and a journalist. Ruby “Dee” Davis passed away of natural causes in the comfort of her home in New Rochelle, New York, surrounded by her loved ones and friends. She was an angel on earth, a beacon and role model to many of today’s powerful women. One of Dee’s mentors and close friend is mega business financier, Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey is a devout friend to the sultry actress and heard about the passing away of Ruby Dee shortly after returning home from a memorial for the late great poet Maya Angelou. Oprah Winfrey and First Lady Michelle Obama were primary speakers of the event honoring the late Maya Angelou. Unfortunately, it came as such a shock getting the news of the late Ruby Dee that it was just too much to bear. One loved one passing directly on heels of another. For the first time in years Winfrey may have been temporarily at a “loss for words.” However she did quote “another great tree has fallen. RIP Ruby Dee.”
By Kimakra Nealy