Actress Ruby Dee’s Archive of American Television interview is now online.
In her 4-part (each 30-minute segment is posted separately) oral history interview, actress Ruby Dee describes her start in feature filmsand on Broadway. She describes the experience of being an African-American lead actress working in series television — a rarity in the 1950s and 60s. She discusses her early work in television, such as her regular role in the 1955 soap opera This Is Nora Drake. She talks about her continued work in television in the 1960s on the anthology series Actor’s Choice, Camera Three, and Play of the Week, as well as the drama series The Nurses, East Side/West Side, and The Defenders. She talks about her regular roles on the series The Guiding Light (as “Martha Frazier”) and Peyton Place (as “Alma Miles”)and her numerous roles in television movies and miniseries in the 1970s including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Roots: The Next Generations. She speaks of her collaborations with her husband of many years (and Archive interviewee) Ossie Davis, including their radio show With Ossie and Ruby (1981-82). The interview was conducted May 15, 2000 by Harold Dow.
Click here to access all four parts.
In part 3 of her interview (above), Ms. Dee discusses her involvement in the Civil Rights movement. (Please excuse the opening image — Google Video hasn’t found a way to choose a first frame.)
CLICK THE ARROW TO PLAY THE SEGMENT.