BET Networks mourns the death of stage and screen legend and activist Ruby Dee, who died Wednesday night at her home in New Rochelle, New York. The 91-year-old was surrounded by loved ones when she passed. Chairman and CEO of BET Debra Lee has released a statement on her passing:
"We are saddened at the passing of Ruby Dee. She was a true screen gem who won our hearts with her powerful performances. Her numerous awards only tell half the story. She has been credited with opening the door for countless artists because of her indelible portrayals that helped redefine the role of leading lady.
While her on-screen work was applauded, her off-screen activism helped shed light on important issues, and in the process changed the face of the industry and advanced civil rights in our nation.
I was honored to celebrate her incredible career that spanned seven decades when she accepted the “Living Legend Award” during BET Networks first broadcast of “Black Girls Rock!”
She shared her success with Ossie Davis, her husband of nearly 60 years, and their union has become an example for many of the strength and longevity of an enduring Black love story.
Ruby Dee was an exceptional leading woman, on-screen and off, and we will remember her life and legacy of inner beauty that radiated strength, courage and grace – which will continue to inspire us all."
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(Photo: Brad Barket/PictureGroup)