Ruby Dee, best known for her role in 1961’s “A Raisin in the Sun” and latterly for her Oscar-nominated turn as Denzel Washington’s mother in 2007’s “American Gangster,” died Wednesday in New York. She was 91.
Dee’s Oscar nomination in 2008 for her performance as the feisty mother of a Harlem druglord played by Washington in Ridley Scott’s “American Gangster” was particularly impressive because the actress made an impression on the Motion Picture Academy with only 10 minutes of screen time. She won a SAG Award for the same performance. Dee also won an Emmy in 1991 for her performance in the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie “Decoration Day.”
She and her husband, Ossie Davis, who often performed together, were among the first generation of African-American actors, led by Sidney Poitier, afforded the opportunity for significant, dignified dramatic roles in films, onstage and on television.
Ryan Murphy, American Horror Story co-creator, took to his Twitter account to announce that Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe will be joining the cast of season 3. “Thrilled to announce Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe is joining the cast of “American Horror Story: Coven,” Murphy tweeted. The Precious actress will join a cast that already includes: Taissa Farmiga, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, and Lily Rabe. The FX hit’s third season is set to premiere this fall.
This film image released by Paramount Pictures shows Denzel Washington portraying Whip Whitaker in a scene from “Flight.” (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Robert Zuckerman)
Denzel Washington scored his first Oscar nomination in over a decade this morning for his acclaimed performance as an alcoholic pilot in the hit dramaFlight. This is Denzel’s sixth career Academy Award nomination, making him the most honored black actor in history. He’s won twice before: supporting actor for 1989′s Glory and best actor for his villainous role in 2001′s Training Day.
This recognition caps perhaps a career-best year for the A-list superstar, following the box office success of February’s action thriller Safe House and now his return to Hollywood’s most prestigious night.
Meanwhile, Quvenzhané Wallis received her first Oscar nomination ever for her acting debut in Beasts of the Southern Wild. At nine, Wallis is also the youngest actress to ever be nominated in the Academy’s leading actress category.Auditioning for the lead role when she was only 5 years old, Quvenzhané was 6 when filming began in 2010 in Pointe-aux-Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles, not too far from her hometown of Houma, Louisiana.
Beasts of the Southern Wild won the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ at the Sundance Independent Film Festival and won the Camera d’Or for best first film at the Cannes Film Festival.