Ruby Dee (born October 27, 1924) is an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist. She is perhaps best known for co-starring in the film A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and the film American Gangster (2007) for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has won a Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors, among scores of others awards. Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Gladys Hightower and Marshall Edward Nathaniel Wallace, a cook, waiter, and porter. After her mother left the family, Dee's father married Emma Amelia Benson, a schoolteacher.
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