Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Tribute: Ruby Dee

posted by Nell Minow

We lost one of the greats today, the actor and activist Ruby Dee.

Kennedy Center honoree with her husband, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee is as much a legend for her pioneering work as a leader of the Civil Rights movement as for her gifts as a performer on stage and in movies.

Here is a charming early glimpse of Davis and Dee in “Gone Are the Days,” based on Davis’ play, “Purlie Victorious.”

YouTube Preview Image

Here they are in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.”

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

You can see Davis and Dee talk about their lives in An Evening with Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

Dee’s breakthrough role on screen was Jackie Robinson’s wife in the biopic starring Robinson himself. She would later play his mother in Court Martial of Jackie Robinson. She appeared in cultural milestones from A Raisin in the Sun to Do the Right Thing.  She was Denzel Washington’s mother in American Gangster and a centenarian in Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First One Hundred Years.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

Davis and Dee led lives so intertwined that they even wrote an autobiography together: With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together.  I saw her in person just once, at a small press conference on behalf of one of the hundreds of good causes she and Davis led and supported over the years.  I watched her as she watched her husband speak, enjoying her look of pride and pleasure and her commitment to seeing justice done.  At one point, he stepped away from the microphone to whisper to a colleague, not realizing that his theater-trained voice carried so well we could all hear everything he said.  His words were not important, just some minor administrative adjustment.  But her expression was telling.  She clearly enjoyed this display of his vital presence and theatricality, so essential to both of them.  She will be missed, but a part of her continues in the spirit of every actor and every person who has been touched by her work.  May her memory be a blessing.

 

Previous Posts

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation
You think you've seen it before? Well, it is a familiar situation. Hitchcock had an assassin waiting in a concert hall for the right moment to ...

posted 5:54:06pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Best of Enemies
Once upon a time, network television news was dignified, objective, and delivered in stentorian, voice-of-God tones by white, vaguely Protestant men, ...

posted 5:23:39pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Premiere Images: Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism
Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism is now a film starring Dominic Monaghan ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), ...

posted 4:57:43pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of "The Look of Silence"
Joshua Oppenheimer has made "a companion piece" to his stunning documentary about government-sanctioned gangster killings of more than a ...

posted 11:40:16am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Tom Cruise Tells Kevin McCarthy about the Airplane Stunt in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation"
My friend Kevin McCarthy asked Tom Cruise how he shot that incredible stunt that has him holding onto the side of a plane while it takes off for "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation." The 53-year-old actor did the stunt himself, no green ...

posted 8:59:43am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.