SAG-AFTRA Releases Statement on Loss of RUBY DEE

SAG-AFTRA Releases Statement on Loss of RUBY DEE

Legendary actresses of stage and screen, Ruby Dee died Wednesday night, June 11th at the age of 91, TMZ reports. According to sources, the actress was at her home in New Rochelle, NY, surrounded by family members when she passed away. A rep has confirmed the report.

SAG-AFTRA today released the following statement on the death of the actor, activist and SAG Life Achievement recipient:

SAG-AFTRA mourns the loss of SAG Life Achievement Award recipient Ruby Dee, who died yesterday at the age of 91. The multitalented Dee distinguished herself as an actor, writer and activist and received the Life Achievement Award in 2000 with husband Ossie Davis. They were only the second husband-and-wife team to win the award, the other being Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in 1985. Dee was predeceased by Davis in 2005.

As she accepted the award, Dee spoke of the Power of the acting profession.

"We are artists also, and workers above all. We are image-makers," She said. "Why can't we image-makers become peacemakers too? Why cannot we, in such a time as this, use all the magic of our vaunted powers to lift the pistol from the schoolboy's backpack and replace it with bright images of peace, with images of hope and faith in humankind? Of life lit by some large vision of goodness and beauty and truth?"

"Ruby Dee was truly one of a kind. She was a woman who believed deeply in fairness, a conviction that motivated her lifelong efforts to advance civil rights," said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. "The acting community - and the world - is a poorer place for her loss."

Dee is perhaps best known for her starring role in the 1960s film "A Raisin in the Sun", as well as her appearances in the SPIKE Lee films "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever." She was most recently seen on the big screen in "American Gangster", in which she took on the role of the mother of Denzel Washington's character.

Dee made several appearances on Broadway, earning two Drama Desk Awards for her performance in 1971's Boesman and Lena and 1973's Wedding Band. Among her theater credits are the original production of A Raisin in the Sun, Checkmates, Purlie Victorious, The Smile of the World, A Long Way from Home, Anna Lucasta and South Pacific.