Ruby Dee, the groundbreaking film and theater actor, had a remarkable career that began in the 1940s, continued through the Civil Rights movement, in which she played a key role both on-screen and off, and did not end until her death at age 91 in June of this year. In memory of Dee, Museum of the Moving Image will host “A Tribute to Ruby Dee,” a celebration of her life and contributions, featuring remarks by actors and directors who worked with her, presented with clips from her films. The program, on Sunday, September 21, 2014, at 2:30 p.m., was organized by Warrington Hudlin, President of the Black Filmmaker Foundation, and a Museum trustee.
“The Museum is honored to be part of a series of celebrations commemorating Ruby Dee, who truly changed the picture for African-Americans on screen and in society,” said Hudlin.
This special tribute will take place the day after her public memorial at the Riverside Church.
“A Tribute to Ruby Dee” will be hosted by actor and playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who appeared with Dee in Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005), the TV adaptation of the novel by Zora Neale Hurston, and directed by Darnell Martin. Other confirmed speakers include Woodie King, Jr., founder of the New Federal Theater, and director of The Torture of Mothers (1980), in which Dee appeared; and actor Glynn Turman (The Wire), who made his major stage debut opposite Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier in A Raisin in the Sun (1959). A personal video tribute from Harry Belafonte, made specifically for this program, will also be shown. In addition to the films mentioned above, clips will be shown from A Raisin in the Sun (1961), American Gangster (2007), Do the Right Thing (1989), and Buck and the Preacher (1972).
Ruby Dee’s breakthrough film role was as Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun (1961). She frequently appeared on screen and stage with Ossie Davis, her husband and artistic partner for more than 60 years, and received an Oscar nomination for her role as a Harlem drug lord’s loving mother in American Gangster (2007). She is also best known for her role in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989), opposite Davis. Dee was the recipient of Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Tickets for “A Tribute to Ruby Dee” are $12 ($9 senior citizens and students / free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above). Advance tickets are available online at movingimage.us. For more information on membership and to join online, visit http://movingimage.us/support/membership.
“A Tribute to Ruby Dee” is part of Changing the Picture, an ongoing series sponsored by Time Warner Inc. that celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen.
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