Ruby Dee - Rotten Tomatoes

Ruby Dee

Highest Rated:   100% A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
Lowest Rated:   0% A Thousand Words (2012)
Birthday:  
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.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet 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
47% 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 For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots
  • Actor
2010
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
14% 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
25% Just Cause
  • Evangeline
1995
No Score Yet Whitewash
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Mississippi, America
  • Actor
1995
15% 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
65% 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 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
83% The Incident
  • Joan Robinson
1967
No Score Yet Purlie Victorious
  • Lutiebelle
1963
60% The Balcony
  • Thief
1963
100% A Raisin in the Sun
  • Ruth Younger
1961
No Score Yet Virgin Island
  • Ruth
1959
No Score Yet Take a Giant Step
  • Christine
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
83% No Way Out
  • Connie
1950
63% The Jackie Robinson Story
  • Rachel Robinson
1950

Quotes from Ruby Dee's Characters