The Dallas-based Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) is presenting Ruby Dee at 5 p.m. EST on Sunday, May 13, 2012. Dee will perform in a special evening of spoken word at the historic Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street in Harlem, N.Y.
“Ms. Dee is a shining example of African American culture and history,” says TBAAL Founder and President Curtis King in a news release. “It excites me to see her still performing so masterfully, and I am certain the audience will be just as excited to be in the presence of one of our country’s foremost living legends.”
The legendary actress was raised in Harlem and began her career there as a member of the American Negro Theatre. Over the years, Dee has appeared in such stage productions as “South Pacific” (1943), “Anna Lucasta” (1944), “Purlie Victorious” (1961) and “Checkmates” (1989). However, it’s her 1959 portrayal of Ruth, the long-suffering, inner-city wife of Sidney Poitier’s character, in the original Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” that made her a star. It ran on the great White Way for two years and was then made into a 1961 film for which Dee won a National Board of Review Award as Best Supporting Actress.
In the ’60s, Dee co-starred in several television series ranging from dramas to the primetime soap opera “Peyton Place” and the daytime soap, “Guiding Light.” In the years since, she (often with her late husband, actor Ossie Davis), has appeared in dozens of motion pictures such as Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and episodic television shows like “Golden Girls.” She’s earned seven Emmy Award nominations, including a win for a 1993 performance on Burt Reynolds’ “Evening Shade” sitcom and for a 1991 role in the telefilm, “Decoration Day.” Dee’s 2007 role as Mama Lucas in the 2007 film, “American Gangster,” starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, earned her an Oscar nomination as best supporting actress. In 2004, Dee and Davis were recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, and she shared a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album with Ossie Davis for “With Ossie and Ruby: In this Life Together.”
Tickets are available online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling the Apollo Theater Box Office at (212) 531-5305.