Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Ruby Dee
Birth: Oct. 27, 1922
Cuyahoga County
Ohio, USA
Death: Jun. 11, 2014
New Rochelle
Westchester County
New York, USA

Actress, Civil Rights Activist. She paved the way for African-American women to achieve substantial roles on stage, in film and on television. The wife of actor and civil rights activist Ossie Davis, they jointly received the NAACP Image Award (1989), were awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1995 and were honored by the Kennedy Center in 2004. Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, her father was a railroad porter, her mother was a school teacher, she was raised in Harlem. After developing an interest in acting, she studied at the American Negro Theatre, in addition to acquiring experience in radio. She studied Spanish and French at Hunter College and following graduation, she found a position as a translator. She worked with Ossie Davis in the touring play "Anna Lucasta" (1946) and the couple married in 1948. She remained with Davis until his death in 2005. Their marriage produced their three children. In 1950, she starred opposite Jackie Robinson, as 'Rae' in the legendary baseball player's autobiographical film "The Jackie Robinson Story". She may perhaps be best remembered for her origination of the role of 'Ruth Younger', opposite Sidney Poitier in the Broadway play "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959 to 1960). She repeated the part in the 1961 film of the same title. She co-wrote the screenplay for the 1968 film "Uptight". In 2008, she received an Academy Award nomination for "American Gangster" (2007). Along with Davis, she was acknowledged and honored for her work in the areas of advancing civil rights, as well as humanitarian causes. (bio by: C.S.) 
Family links: 
  Ossie Davis (1917 - 2005)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Her ashes were placed in the same urn as Ossie Davis'. The insription on the urn reads "Ossie and Ruby- In this thing together".
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: C.S.
Record added: Jun 12, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 131277377
Ruby Dee
Added by: Curtis Jackson
Ruby Dee
Added by: Curtis Jackson
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- elaine bailey
 Added: Oct. 19, 2017
Thank you for all you and ozzie did for civil rights, both you and Ozzie were talented actors, God bless and R.I.P. You are loved and missed.
- julie
 Added: Oct. 14, 2017

- Ron
 Added: Jul. 14, 2017
There are 363 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.4 after 148 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service