SAG-AFTRA today released the following statement on the death of actor, activist and SAG Life Achievement recipient Ruby Dee:
SAG-AFTRA mourns the loss of SAG Life Achievement Award recipient Ruby Dee, who died yesterday at the age of 91. The multitalented Dee distinguished herself as an actor, writer and activist and received the Life Achievement Award in 2000 with husband Ossie Davis. They were only the second husband-and-wife team to win the award, the other being Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in 1985. Dee was predeceased by Davis in 2005.
As she accepted the award, Dee spoke of the power of the acting profession.
“We are artists also, and workers above all. We are image-makers,” She said. “Why can’t we image-makers become peacemakers too? Why cannot we, in such a time as this, use all the magic of our vaunted powers to lift the pistol from the schoolboy’s backpack and replace it with bright images of peace, with images of hope and faith in humankind? Of life lit by some large vision of goodness and beauty and truth?”
“Ruby Dee was truly one of a kind. She was a woman who believed deeply in fairness, a conviction that motivated her lifelong efforts to advance civil rights,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. “The acting community — and the world — is a poorer place for her loss.”
SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.