Ruby Dee Biography

Topics: Ruby Dee

What are you interested in becoming when you grow up? You would want to be famous or have a well-paid job with people who care about you. What about after you retire? Retiring in you leave your employment and go into peaceful unemployment with everything you need. Some people, however, do not believe in this phase. One of these people was Ruby Dee. Have you ever heard of her? Probably, because she was very successful and continued with her career and never stopped until the end.

Ruby Dee was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 27, 1922. Her original name was Ruby Ann Wallace. Ruby’s mother was Gladys Wallace, (née Hightower) and her father is Marshal Edward Nathaniel Wallace. Her father was a porter, a cook, and a waiter. Ruby has no confirmed siblings.

Ruby’s mother moved out when she was little. Her father remarried to someone named Emma Amelia Benson. She was a school teacher and the one who introduced Ruby to poetry.

Ruby loved poetry. It was one of her many interests. She also liked English and acting. Her interests were probably the start of her acting career.

A little while later, Ruby and her family relocated to Harlem, New York when she was only a baby. (2 years old) She started calling herself a native New Yorker (Even though she was born in Ohio) because her whole life had revolved around New York.

Later, Ruby attended school at Hunter College High School for high school. She attended college in 1944 at City University of New York-Hunter College.

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Ruby graduated from college with a romance degree. She also went to the American Negro Theatre for her acting career.

Dee’s career mostly revolved around acting. She did playwriting. A play requires voice acting and acting itself.

Dee was an activist in civil rights. She was, however, not exactly famous for that. It was because she was very successful in acting. Her interests must have inspired her career.

Ruby’s first award was the ‘Emmy Nomination, Outstanding Single Performance’ award. One of her latest awards is the ‘Best Supporting Actress of the American Actors Guild Awards’ for being a good actress. Ruby received many awards throughout her life.

Ruby was the first American actress to appear in the Shakespeare festival playing as a major role. She also was the one who delivered Malcolm X’s eulogy. Besides showing up at the Shakespeare festival, she was also the first African-American actress to be featured in Peyton Place.

Ruby never believed in retirement if she could still do the work. She was also famous for being an incredibly successful actress and living her life to the fullest. ‘Living the life to the fullest’ part was because Ruby died at the age of 91 while still working!

Dee was a very compassionate person. She was said to be a very caring parent. Ruby offered a shoulder to cry on when someone was down. She was generally a role model for many people.

Ruby’s death date was on June 11, 2014, at age 91. Ruby set the benchmark. She made a goal for everyone to achieve. She showed us that anything you set your mind to be possible if you work for it. Ruby should be remembered as a memorable person.

Works Cited

  1. “Actress Ruby Dee Born.”, A&E Television Networks, 13 Nov. 2009,
  2. Borges, Pedro. “Ruby Dee.” IMDb,,
  3. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ruby Dee.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 Feb. 2019,
  4. S.A. “Ruby Dee. Biography, News, Photos and Videos.” HELLO!, HELLO!,
  5. “Ruby Ann Dee.” geni_family_tree, 24 May 2018,
  6. “Ruby Dee.”, A&E Networks Television, 19 Jan. 2018,
  7. “Ruby Dee Biography.” Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee,
  8. “Ruby Dee Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography, Advameg, Inc.,
  9. Watson, Elwood. “Ruby Ann Wallace Dee (1924-2014) • BlackPast.” Redlining (1937- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed, 1 Feb. 2019,
  10. Tommer, Shlomo. “Ruby Dee.” Celebrities Galore – The Spiritual Encyclopaedia Of The Famous,

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Ruby Dee Biography. (2022, Feb 03). Retrieved from

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