Oscar Nominee Ruby Dee Dead at 91

The legendary actress had won an Emmy, a Grammy and more.

ByLESLEY MESSER and MARK CRUDELE
June 12, 2014, 12:53 PM
PHOTO: Ruby Dee attends the "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" screening at The Paris Theatre, Oct. 16, 2013, in New York City.
Ruby Dee attends the "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" screening at The Paris Theatre, Oct. 16, 2013, in New York City.
Michael Stewart/WireImage/Getty Images

June 12, 2014 -- Legendary actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee has died, a family spokeswoman confirmed today.

She was 91.

Dee died of natural causes at her New Rochelle, New York, home surrounded by family, the spokeswoman said.

Born Ruby Ann Wallace, Dee, a graduate of New York City's Hunter College, appeared on Broadway before rocketing to national fame for her role as Rae Robinson in the 1950 film "The Jackie Robinson Story."

She would go on to appear in films including "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Edge of the City," and TV shows including "Police Woman" and "The Golden Girls."

Nominated for eight Emmy Awards, she won in 1990 for her performance in the made-for-TV movie "Decoration Day."

A Grammy winner for best spoken-word album, Dee was also nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in the 2007 film "American Gangster."

Dee, who battled breast cancer a few decades back, is survived by the three children she had with her late husband, actor Ossie Davis: Guy, Nora Day and Hasna Muhammad.

A private service will be held for family and friends. A public memorial will be held at a later date.

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