Born 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio, American actress Ruby Dee originated the role of “Ruth Younger” in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun (1961). Her other notable film roles include The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) and Do the Right Thing (1989).
For her performance as Mahalee Lucas in American Gangster (2007), Dee was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Female Actor in a Supporting Role. She was a Grammy, Emmy, Obie and Drama Desk winner, and also a National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honors and Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award recipient.
Dee was also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and civil rights activist, she married to Ossie Davis, with whom she frequently performed until his death in 2005. She died in 2014 at her home in New Rochelle, New York from natural causes at the age of 89.
Take a look at these beautiful photos to see portrait of a young Ruby Dee from between the 1940s and 1960s.