Ruby Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio on October 27, 1924. She moved to New York City with her family where she attended Hunter High School and she later graduated from Hunter College in 1945. She started acting in high school and later joined the American Negro Theatre. It was there that she would use the stage name Ruby Dee.

Ruby made her Broadway debut in "Jeb." It was her role in that play that introduced her to Ossie Davis. They wed in 1948. She would later appear in such productions as "Anna Lucasta," "Smile of the World," "Purlie Victorious (written by Ossie)" and "A Raisin in the Sun." Ruby broke ground in 1965 as the first black woman to play lead roles at the American Shakespeare Festival in Connecticut. She won an Obie Award for the title role in Athol Fugard's "Boesman and Lena," a Drama Desk Award for her role in "Wedding Band" and an Ace Award for her performance as Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night."

Ruby’s tv guest appearances include "The Fugitive," "Tenafly," "Spenser: For Hire," "The Golden Girls" and "Touched by an Angel." She was a series regular in the daytime drama "The Guiding Light" and the nighttime serial "Peyton Place." She also hosted the PBS series "With Ossie and Ruby" with her husband.

Ruby’s numerous feature film credits include "The Jackie Robinson Story," "No Way Out," "Take A Giant Step," "Buck & The Preacher," "Edge of the City," "Black Girl," "Do The Right Thing," "Jungle Fever," "Just Cause," "Cat People" and "A Raisin in the Sun," for which she reprised her stage role. Ruby’s telefilm and miniseries credits include "The Sheriff," "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," "Roots: The Next Generation," "The Stand," "Mr. & Mrs. Loving," "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First 100 Years" and "Anne Rice’s The Feast of all Saints." In 1988 Ruby was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and in 1989 she was inducted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame. She was awarded an Emmy for her role in "Decoration Day," a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation. In 1994, the Academy of Television Arts and Science gave the Silver Circle Award to Ruby and Ossie and in 1995 they were recipients of the prestigious National Medal of Arts Award bestowed at the White House by President and Mrs. Clinton. In 2000, Ruby and Ossie were presented with the Screen Actors Guild's highest honor, the Life Achievement Award.

Besides acting Ruby is also known as a social activist. She’s supported the NAACP, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and she was involved in the civil rights movement during the 1960’s. Ruby established the Ruby Dee Scholarship in Dramatic Art and she and Ossie founded the Institute of New Cinema Artists.

Ruby and Ossie have three grown children: Nora, Guy (who’s also an actor) and Hasna; 7 grandchildren; and their own companies, Emmalyn II Productions Company, Inc. and Emmalyn Enterprises.

Ruby's film credits include the following:


Check out the following sites for additional information about Ruby:

Ruby Dee@Internet Movie Database
Ruby Dee@TvNow.com
Ruby Dee@Africanpubs.com
Ruby Dee@Wikipedia
Ruby Dee@The History Makers
Ruby Dee@African American Registry
Kennedy Honors: Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis
Ruby Dee@Hollywood.com
Ruby Dee@Filmbug.com
Ruby Dee@Oprah.com

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