Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee

Highest Rated: 100% Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart (2017)

Lowest Rated: 0% A Thousand Words (2012)

Birthday: Oct 27, 1924

Birthplace: Not Available

African-American stage, film, and TV luminary Ruby Dee was born in Cleveland, the daughter of a Pullman-porter father and schoolteacher mother. While growing up in Harlem, Dee developed an interest in the theater. In 1941, she began studying under Morris Carnovsky at the American Negro Theatre. While attending Hunter College, she made her first professional stage appearance in South Pacific (not the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, but a short-lived 1943 drama). On Broadway from 1946, Dee's first major success was as the title character in Anna Lucasta. In 1948, she married actor Ossie Davis, with whom she appeared in everything from Shakespeare to TV margarine commercials. Though she and Davis were both uncredited in their joint film debut, 1950's No Way Out, Dee achieved second billing in her next feature, The Jackie Robinson Story (1950). Among her favorite stage roles were Ruth Younger in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, and Luttiebelle in her husband Ossie Davis' play Purlie Victorious, roles that she would commit to film in 1961 and 1963 respectively. On TV, Dee was a regular on The Guiding Light, Roots: The Next Generations, and The Middle Ages; Dee worked steadily throughout the 1970s, '80s, dividing her time more or less equally between television [with turns in such small-screen movies as The Atlanta Child Murders (1981), The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson (1990) and the 1990 Decoration Day, for which she won an Emmy] and the big screen, where her credits included the features Cat People (1982), Cop and a Half (1993) and A Simple Wish (1997). Dee received a career resurgence thanks to her prominent enlistment in the features of Spike Lee (alongside Davis), notably Do the Right Thing (1989) and Jungle Fever (1991). As time rolled on, she also began to participate in documentaries, such as the 1998 Christianity: The First Thousand Years and the 1999 Smithsonian World: Nigerian Art - Kindred Spirits); made guest appearances in such prime-time series as Touched by an Angel; and essayed a prominent role opposite Halle Berry in the telemovie Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005). She continued to work steadily after Davis's death in early 2005, and in fact received her first Best Supporting Actress Oscar Nomination for her role in Ridley Scott's period crime saga American Gangster (2007). In 2011 she participated in Sing Your Song, a well-received biography of Harry Belafonte from HBO. In addition to her acting credits, Ruby Dee was an accomplished writer; she contributed a weekly column to New York's Amsterdam News, co-authored the script for the 1967 film Up Tight!, penned the 1975 TV play Twin-Bit Gardens, and published a book of poetry, Glowchild (1972).Dee died of natural causes in June 2014 at age 91.


Highest Rated Movies



100% Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart Actor 2017
No Score Yet Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee Actor 2015
No Score Yet Betty and Coretta Narrator 2013
50% Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary Actor $36.3K 2013
0% A Thousand Words Annie McCall $18.5M 2012
95% Sing Your Song Ruby Dee $48.2K 2012
No Score Yet Politics Of Love Grandmother 2011
0% The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll Miss Candy 2011
No Score Yet Video Girl Valerie 2011
No Score Yet A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School Actor 2009
No Score Yet Red & Blue Marbles Actor 2009
58% No. 2 (Naming Number Two) Actor 2008
13% Steam Doris 2007
80% American Gangster Mama Lucas $130.2M 2007
No Score Yet All About Us Ms. Ella 2007
No Score Yet Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God Nanny 2005
No Score Yet The Way Back Home Maude 2005
No Score Yet The Life of Jackie Robinson Rachel Robinson 2003
No Score Yet Hughes' Dream Harlem Actor 2002
No Score Yet Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives Actor 2002
No Score Yet Taking Back Our Town Emelda West 2001
No Score Yet The Feast of All Saints Elsie Claviere 2001
No Score Yet Finding Buck McHenry Mrs. Henry 2000
No Score Yet A Storm in Summer Grandmother 2000
2% Baby Geniuses Margo 1999
No Score Yet Passing Glory Mommit Porter 1999
No Score Yet Having Our Say: Delany Sisters' First 100 Years Annie Elizabeth `Bessie' Delany 1999
No Score Yet The Wall Grandmother 1998
25% A Simple Wish Hortense 1997
No Score Yet Mr. and Mrs. Loving Sophia 1996
24% Just Cause Evangeline 1995
No Score Yet Whitewash Actor 1995
No Score Yet Mississippi, America Actor 1995
14% Cop & 1/2 Rachel 1993
No Score Yet The Ernest Green Story Mrs. Wilson 1993
No Score Yet Jazztime Tale Narrator 1992
81% Jungle Fever Lucinda 1991
No Score Yet Hands upon the Heart Actor 1991
No Score Yet Color Adjustment Actor 1991
No Score Yet Decoration Day Rowena 1990
No Score Yet The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson Actor 1990
71% Love at Large Corrine Dart 1990
No Score Yet American Playhouse Zora Neale Hurston 1990
93% Do the Right Thing Mother Sister 1989
No Score Yet Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln' Actor 1988
No Score Yet Sidney Sheldon's 'Windmills of the Gods' Actor 1988
No Score Yet Go Tell It on the Mountain Mrs. Grimes 1985
No Score Yet The Atlanta Child Murders Faye Williams 1985
61% Cat People Female 1982
No Score Yet To Be Young, Gifted & Black Actor 1981
No Score Yet All God's Children Irene Whitfield 1980
No Score Yet I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Grandmother Baxter 1979
No Score Yet Countdown at Kusini Leah Matanzima 1976
No Score Yet It's Good to Be Alive Ruth Campanella 1974
No Score Yet Black Girl Netta's Mother 1972
No Score Yet Buck and the Preacher Ruth 1972
No Score Yet King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis Actor 1970
No Score Yet Up Tight! Laurie Producer Screenwriter 1968
86% The Incident Joan Robinson 1967
No Score Yet Purlie Victorious Lutiebelle 1963
60% The Balcony Thief 1963
94% A Raisin in the Sun Ruth Younger 1961
No Score Yet Take a Giant Step Christine 1959
No Score Yet Virgin Island Ruth 1959
No Score Yet St. Louis Blues Elizabeth 1958
No Score Yet Edge of the City Lucy Tyler 1957
No Score Yet Go, Man, Go Ima Jackson 1954
No Score Yet The Tall Target Rachel 1951
90% No Way Out Connie 1950
63% The Jackie Robinson Story Rachel Robinson 1950


No Score Yet POV
Appearing 2014
No Score Yet The Mo'Nique Show
Guest 2010
No Score Yet CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Mary Wilson 2007
No Score Yet Fatherhood
Voice 2005
No Score Yet Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry
Performer 2004
No Score Yet Touched by an Angel
LaBelle 1999
No Score Yet Promised Land
Alicia 1998
70% The Stand
Mother Abigail 1994
No Score Yet Evening Shade
No Score Yet American Experience
Narrator 1990
No Score Yet American Playhouse
Zora Neale Hurston 1990
No Score Yet The Golden Girls
Guest 1990
No Score Yet Sesame Street
Voice 1970
No Score Yet The Fugitive
Laura 1964


Da Mayor says: [after last night's riot] Hope the block is still standing.

Mother Sister says: We're still standing.

Mother Sister says: Good morning.

Da Mayor says: Is it a good morning?

Mother Sister says: Yes, indeed. You almost got yourself killed last night.

Mother Sister says: Mother Sister's always watching!

Annie McCall says: Life's not worth living with out family. Right? Right?!

Annie McCall says: I like cake! Don't you Jack?