Legendary stage and screen actress, writer and activist Ruby Dee passed away at her home on Thursday evening. According to her family, she died of natural causes and her passing was peaceful.
Dee won an Oscar nomination in 2008 for her role in American Gangster. After being nominated for six Emmys, she nabbed the award in 1991 for her role in the TV movie Decoration Day.
Dee was known for breaking free from racial stereotypes and was an inspiration to many actors and actresses. She was married to Ossie Davis for 56 years until his death in 2005.
Her death was mourned by many celebrities who knew and were inspired by her.
We Lost A Jewel Today, Mrs Ruby Dee, So Great, So Loved! R.I.P. All sympathy to her family. pic.twitter.com/2Ej4QWkCkb
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) June 12, 2014
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) June 12, 2014
Words cannot express how much Ruby Dee inspired me to be who I am today. I will miss her dearly…
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) June 12, 2014
Another "Great Tree" has fallen. RIP Ruby Dee. http://t.co/RoHieRCaSq
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) June 13, 2014
Deeply saddened to hear of Ruby Dee's passing. I'll never forget seeing her in "Do the Right Thing" on my first date with Barack. -mo
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) June 12, 2014
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) June 12, 2014
— Simone Weichselbaum (@NYDNSimone) June 12, 2014
In addition to being an acclaimed actress, Dee was also a passionate activist. She and Ossie participated in marches for racial equality in the South and both were emcees of the landmark 1963 March on Washington where King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
They also contributed to numerous civil rights organizations and charities.
At the time of her death Dee was surrounded by close friends and family members.
“We have had her for so long and we loved her so much,” her daughter said. “She took her final bow last night at home surrounded by her children and grandchildren.”
“We gave her our permission to set sail. She opened her eyes, closed her eyes and away she went.”
Image via YouTube