In Memoriam – Ruby Dee (1922 – 2014)

Ruby Dee as Lorraine Hansberry in "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black."

Ruby Dee as Lorraine Hansberry in Great Performances' To Be Young, Gifted, and Black.

Great Performances mourns the passing of actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee, who passed away Wednesday at her home in New Rochelle, NY. She was 91 years old.

Achieving national recognition for her tour de force performance in the original Broadway production and subsequent movie adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Ms. Dee went on to memorably portray Hansberry in the 1972 Great Performances program To Be Young, Gifted and Black. Among many accolades, Dee was the recipient of Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors. She was married to actor Ossie Davis until his death in 2005. Together, she and Ossie co-hosted the PBS series “With Ossie & Ruby.”

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