Ruby Dee to be honored

Actress Ruby Dee attends the world premiere of “American Gangster” at the Apollo Theater in New York.
AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Happy 90th birthday Ruby Dee! The legendary Ruby Dee will be honored on Nov. 14, 2012, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, during a screening of “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee,” from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. In the life story documentary, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee’s legacy lives on in their grandson’s quest for the secrets to love, art, and activism. A 30-minute excerpt of the film will be premiered.

A prestigious group of celebrities, activists, and community leaders will be on hand for the premiere of an excerpt of Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, which her grandson, Muta’Ali, is dedicating to her.

Ambassador Andrew Young, honorary chair of the birthday celebration touched on the significance of the documentary, “I must commend Muta’Ali. As I watched the trailer this summer, I knew I was watching something special which bonded heritage and history into a moment in time.” Ambassador Young is joined by Latonya Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance as Honorary Chairs.

Ruby Dee has played many roles and earned numerous awards for her stellar work on stage and screen, as she and Ossie both helped pave the way for generations of young black actors, filmmakers, and activists. For more than five decades, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had distinguished careers as actors, activists, playwrights, directors and of course, as husband and wife. Their massive body of work spans more than half a century and includes the receipt of the National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honors, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, the Marian Anderson Award, and an Academy Award nomination.

Today, Ruby Dee is an iconic legend who is still impacting the world. After watching Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, you may be tempted to affectionately refer to her as simply, “GramRuby.”

Ms. Dee shares, “My heart is with the Life’s Essentials project. I feel overwhelmed and delighted by the thought of a film devoted to the love of Ossie and me; our work in the arts and our work in the struggle. Life’s Essentials is an example of how one generation gives to the other, reaches back and pulls up. It is a celebration of families everywhere….”

Recognizing the importance of the film, this screening is a first in a series of Life’s Essentials screenings supported by AARP this fall. The event is made possible through the generous support of Billye and Hank Aaron, AARP, as well as 1199 SEIU, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, Camille and Bill Cosby and the Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr. Charitable Foundation. The feature release of “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee” is scheduled for 2013.

Find out more about Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee at

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