I was shocked to learn that Ruby Dee's SAG and Oscar nominations this year are both firsts for her! It's really surprising to me that a phenomenal acting talent like Ruby Dee, in her 60+ years as a working actress, has NEVER been nominated for a SAG or Academy Award - until this year. Un-freaking-believable! And I'm talking strictly about nominations here, not necessarily wins.
I haven't see American Gangster (the film for which her performance is nominated in both categories), but I'm now inclined to do so, thanks in large part to her nominations. But I can't help but wonder if these nominations are more about the fact that both organizations (SAG and Academy) have ignored her performances for decades, and these nominations are likely more akin to lifetime achievement awards, than they are for her performance in American Gangster. The politics of show-business humor me. Regardless, a thunderous applause for both nominations for Ruby Dee!
Her late husband, the great Ossie Davis, was never nominated for an Oscar, but he was given a lifetime achievement award by SAG, in 2001.
By the way, Ruby Dee did win the SAG for best supporting actress, for her performance in American Gangster. I didn't watch the ceremony on television, but I heard that her acceptance speech and presence were immaculate. So I've been mining the web for a video clip of the moment. The only one I found follows below, on YouTube; but the video and sound quality aren't very good, as you will see...
Ruby Dee will be 84 years old this year, by the way!!