2/04/05: Ossie Davis was found dead in a hotel room at the Shore Club Motel in Miami Beach, Florida. Known for his integrity, sincerity, talent, and warmth, the man considered to be a wise sage was 87 years old. Ossie was working on the film "Retirement".
He was said to be suffering from heart disease and had recently recovered from pneumonia. His body was discovered by his grandson and paramedics.
Ruby Dee was in New Zealand, working on a movie at the time of his death.
Memorial Service: TBA
Ossie Davis was born in Cogdell, Georgia on December 18, 1917. His name was supposed to have been Raiford Chatman Davis after his grandfather, but a clerk didn't hear clearly what his mother said and wrote Ossie instead of R.C. on his birth certificate.
Death, Ossie: February 04, 2005, in Miami Beach, Florida.
Ruby Ann Wallace Dee was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 27, 1924.
How They Met:
Although neither one of them can remember the actual moment they met one another, Ossie and Ruby met while performing in the Broadway drama "Jeb" at the Amsterdam Theater in new york City in December, 1946.
Wedding Date:Three years after they met, Ossie proposed to Ruby by sending a telegram to her from Chicago. During one of their days off (a Thursday) from rehearsals, Ruby and Ossie rode the bus to Jersey City, New Jersey and were married on December 9, 1948 by a Baptist preacher.
Previous Marriages:Ruby was married to Frankie Dee Brown, a midget, on August 31, 1941 in the Mother Zion AME Church by Reverend Benjamin Robeson.
Ages at Marriages:First marriage, Ruby, nearly 17, and Frankie, ?? ;second marriage, Ruby, 24, and Ossie, a week shy of being 31.
Guy Davis, born in New York, New York on May 12, 1952. Guy is a blues guitarist, composer, actor, playwright, and producer. He conducts acting workshops. He was reportedly divorced from Dorothy, a museum curator, several years ago.
Dr. Hasna (nee LaVerne) Davis Muhammad is a published author, educator, and principal of Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, New York. She is married to Abdul Muhammad, a musician.
Jammal, Jihaad, Brian, Martial, Ihsaana, Muta' Ali, and Imani.
Education:Ossie Davis attended Howard University.
Ruby Dee graduated from Hunter College in 1945.
Ossie first served in the Army during WWII in Liberia as a surgical technician working with wounded troops and local residents. He was later assigned as a writer and producer in the Special Services Department to both use and entertain military personnel in stage productions. He was honorably discharged in 1945. Ossie Davis has been a successful actor on screen, television, and stage. Additionally, he was a writer, film producer, television producer, and activist.
Ruby is an actress and author.
Ruby enjoys painting, playing the piano, studying world religions.
Miscellaneous:The couple has been affiliated with the NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Davis and Dee also made recordings for the blind, raised money to fight drug addiction and to help with the legal defense of arrested civil rights workers.
Together, Ossie and Ruby have received many awards includig the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League in 1970, the Paul Robeson Citation from the Actors Equity in 1975, inducted into the NAACP Image Awards hall of Fame in 1989, Monarch Award in 1990, the Silver Circle Award by the Academy of Television Arts Sciences in 1994, the Presidential Medal for Lifetime Achievement In the Arts given at the White House by President and Mrs. Clinton in 1995, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. Between the two of them, they have 10 Emmy nominations.
Ruby is a 30 years plus survivor of breast cancer.
They had a gala benefit on their golden wedding anniversary and raised funds for 12 community theaters.