(Photo: CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images)
Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, the future star of film, television and stage grew up in Harlem, where she began working on her craft while still a teenager. She studied at the American Negro Theatre, which claims Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte among its alums.
Dee, who also attended Hunter College, experienced her first major success in the American Negro Theatre's 1946 Broadway production of Anna Lucasta. It also was the same year that she met her future husband, acclaimed actor Ossie Davis. The couple married two years later and had three children.
Dee later starred on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun and Purlie Victorious, a comedy written by her husband. She appeared in the nighttime soap opera Peyton Place and also in the public television series With Ossie & Ruby. In addition, she won an Emmy Award for the television movie Decoration Day. She and her husband also won a Grammy Award for the audio version of their book With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together.
In 2013, she narrated the Lifetime movie Betty and Coretta, which chronicles the lives of Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz.
Dee died on June 11, 2014, at her home in New Rochelle, New York. She was 91.
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