Obits: Legendary Actress Ruby Dee Dies At 91

06.12.14 4 years ago 14 Comments
Actress Ruby Dee giving a reading at Martin Luther King Jr

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Nowadays, pop culture has its “power couples.” The unions painted to the general public as unbreakable and a mold for what every relationship should embody: Will and Jada, David and Victoria (Beckham), Brad and Angelina, Jay and Beyonce and, the most powerful of them all, Barack and Michelle.

Long before any of them stood were Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, a union who starred alongside each other in several films and remains the quintessential example love, longevity and stability in Hollywood. Dee passed away today at the age of 91. Depending on how much time you have, explaining Ruby’s impact on African-American women in Hollywood could take hours.

Dee amassed portfolio-defining roles in A Raisin In The Sun and Buck & The Preacher with Sidney Poitier, Roots: The Next Generation, Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and Jungle Fever and 2007’s American Gangster. Even those acknowledgements only scratch the surface of a career that began a year after World War II ended in 1946’s That Man of Mine.

Dee and Davis (who died suddenly in 2005) were also visible figures in the Civil Rights Movement, marching and speaking at countless rallies and close friends of both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At 91 years young, pop culture was blessed to have Ms. Dee for amount of time it did. Mourning and grieving are part of the healing process. But knowing Ossie’s already there to greet her at the pearly gates, well, sometimes love stories do have eternally happy endings.

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