Cleveland-born Actress Ruby Dee Has Died at 91


Acclaimed Cleveland-born actress Ruby Dee, a mural of whom now graces Karamu House, died surrounded by family and friends at her home in New York State today. She was 91.

Though Dee's family moved to New York City when she was still a baby, she returned to Cleveland often during the course of her extensive professional acting career. In particular, she and her husband Ossie Davis, who died in 2005, were ongoing supporters of Karamu House. In 1991, they co-produced the musical "Generations" there.

The PD reported last year that Dee, when in town for performances, on her nights off, would steal away to Karamu to offer impromptu master classes. She had a deep connection to the oldest black theater in the country.

In 2007, Dee was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in American Gangster. Even in her old age, she was a force to be reckoned with on screen and on the stage.

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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