For my money, the most rewarding Oscar nomination of the bunch, is the one bestowed upon actress Ruby Dee for American Gangster. Who knows if she will win (she does have a healthy chance), but the nomination is recognition for a greatly underrated American actress, who is now 83 years old. That’s what I was thinking, and admittedly supposed to think, when I came across this Sunday New York Times profile piece by Roberta Hershenson:
Ms. Dee’s current projects focus on writing. She is the author of two children’s books as well as short stories and a book of poetry. “With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together” — her joint autobiography with her late husband, Ossie Davis, who died in February 2005 — was recorded and won a Grammy Award last year. She is now working on a musical, “Boscoe and the Devil,” based on a short story by Arthur P. Davis. She is also involved in the Ossie Davis Endowment, which is administered by the United Negro College Fund.
Although the Oscar nomination is her first, she has won many other honors on her own and jointly with Mr. Davis, including the National Medal of Arts, the Marian Anderson Award, the Kennedy Center Honors Award and the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.
Any awards Ms. Dee receives for “American Gangster” are likely to bring her new recognition from a younger generation of movie goers. Despite her more than 50 films, TV movies and plays spanning the last 61 years, she was described on some Web sites as one of the “lesser-known” SAG nominees.