US president Barack Obama has joined a growing number of celebrities and other public figures in paying tribute to the late Ruby Dee.

Dee passed away on Wednesday (June 11) at her home in New Rochelle, New York with her family at her side.

© Getty Images / The Washington Post
Ruby Dee speaks at the 1963 March on Washington

The actress has been hailed for her work on Broadway and in the films A Raisin in the Sun and Do the Right Thing, in addition to her and husband Ossie Davis's role in the Civil Rights movement.

President Obama released a statement late on Thursday, in which he shared his own personal favorite memory of the star.

He said: "Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of actress, author, and activist Ruby Dee. In roles from Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun to Mama Lucas in American Gangster, Ruby captivated and challenged us - and Michelle and I will never forget seeing her on our first date as Mother Sister in Do the Right Thing.

"Through her remarkable performances, Ruby paved the way for generations of black actors and actresses, and inspired African-American women across our country. Through her leadership in the Civil Rights movement, she and her husband, Ossie Davis, helped open new doors of opportunity for all."

© Getty Images

Obama concluded: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Ruby and Ossie's three children, with their friends and family, and with all those who loved them dearly."

Dee earned a Grammy, an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award throughout her career, in addition to receiving a National Medal of Arts.

She was also nominated for an Academy Award for American Gangster.

From: Digital Spy

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