10 Things You Didn't Know About Ruby Dee

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The amazing Ruby Dee passed away a few days ago and is now mourned by countless fans. Here are some things you don't know about her..or maybe you did know, but let's take a moment to reflect on how Fabulous and Blessed she was. 

Ruby Dee
Image: © Future-Image/ZUMAPRESS.com

She spent her life as an activist for civil rights.  The 1960s was a creative time for Ruby Dee and her husband Ossie Davis. The couple became adamant activists and important figures of the Civil Rights Movement. Davis wrote the southern-themed play “Purlie Victorious,” which was also turned into the 1963 film “Gone Are the Days!” with the pair reprising their roles. This period was marked with the couple working closely  with Malcolm X and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

She was an Academy Award nominee. Ruby was nominated for the film American Gangster (2007) which she starred along side Denzel Washington. She was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. She's also has 7  Prime-Rime Emmy award nominations and she snagged a win in 1991. 

She also won a Grammy. Ruby won for Best Spoken Word Album in 2007, a win she shared with her husband Ossie Davis, whose win was posthumous. 

She wrote scripts, too. One of her productions was the 1967 film Uptight.

She paved the way. Sanaa Lathan, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, whoever we wanna name in the film industry today can all add Ruby Dee to the list to thank for being a trail blazer. At the Tony Awards just this past Sunday, six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald thanked Ruby Dee in her acceptance speech for paving the way.

She had a good, prayerful life. "God make me so uncomfortable that I will do the very thing I fear." If this quote is any indication of Ruby's experience with God in her life, we can imagine the relationship was pretty close. She's made some phenomenal accomplishments after all!

She was married before Ossie Davis. WHAT?!!! Can we ever imagine seeing her with anybody else? We can't! But the middle name of the blues singer who was her first became her stage name.  Her marriage to Frankie Dee Brown was short-lived. Only 4 four years. compared to a 57-year love with Ossie Davis. That's over five decades! Please do marry someone with like passions. Dee and Davis left a highly creative legacy in the arts and entertainment field.

She's close to home. If you're close to Atlanta anyway, but she'll always be in our hearts, memories, and film memories for generations to come. Atlanta-based Producer Chi Ife got a chance to meet Ruby, playing Ruth in a Tri-Cities Production of  Raisin In The Sun. Both very intelligent, talented women.

Ruby was a survivor. She beat breast cancer for over 30 Years.Three Decades!!.. and didn't pass until the age of 91 of natural causes. That's BOLD!

She was a journalist. A fact to be appreciated by a herald of the good news such as BOLD Journal. Ruby began her career  at the American Negro Theater as an apprentice, working with Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Hilda Simms.

I'm grateful to be remembering a woman of such great impact. May her soul continually, gratefully rest In God.

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