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Ruby Dee, ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ Actress, Dead at 91

Actress died peacefully of age-related causes, according to her representative

Ruby Dee, who co-starred in the 1961 film “A Raisin in the Sun” and earned an Oscar nomination for her work in 2007’s “American Gangster,” died Wednesday night, her representative told TheWrap on Thursday. She was 91.

Dee died in New Rochelle, N.Y. According to her representative, she died peacefully of age-related causes.

Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Dee was raised in Harlem, New York and made a number of appearances on Broadway before co-starring in the 1950 biopic “The Jackie Robinson Story.”

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Dee’s television work included appearances on “Police Woman,” “The Golden Girls” and “China Beach.” Nominated eight times for an Emmy, she won an Emmy for her work in the 1990 television film “Decoration Day.”

An activist as well as an actress, Dee was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality and the NAACP, and was awarded, along with her late husband Ossie Davis, the Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award in 2005.

In 2007, Dee received a Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album category for “With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together.”

Dee was mentioned prominently at this year’s Tony Awards, when actress Audra McDonald, accepting her award for best lead actress for her role in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” talked about standing on the shoulders of Dee and other African-American women such as Lena Horne, Maya Angelou and Billie Holiday.

She had three children with Davis: son Guy Davis, and daughters Nora Day and Hasna Muhammad. Davis died in 2005.