Oscar-nominated actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee died today at the age of 91. A trailblazer who started acting on stage in the 1940's and first gained film recognition for The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), who then went on to star in A Raisin in the Sun (1961) with Sidney Poitier, as well several other films in the 50's and 60's. She also guest starred on various television shows since the 1960s (Including Peyton Place), and was nominated for eight Emmy awards, before appearing in the Spike Lee films Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991). She was finally nominated for an Oscar for her brief role in American Gangster (2007) as Denzel Washington's mother, and was a political and civil rights activist along with her husband Ossie Davis, whom she was married to from 1948 until his death in 2005. Ruby Dee was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors for her long career, as well as a Grammy, Emmy, SAG and SAG lifetime achievement award before she passed away from natural causes at her home in New Rochelle, New York.
Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis receiving the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004: