ossie and ruby


What does it look like to be on the set of a Spike Lee film? That’s what you can find out in the photos of his brother, David Lee, who’s been capturing moments from the making of the 2015 Honorary Oscar recipient’s features through still unit work beginning with Spike’s first feature, She’s Gotta Have It (1986), and up through 2012’s Red Hook Summer.

David Lee has been the still unit photographer for many of the key American films and television series of the modern era, including King of the Hill (1993), Far from Heaven (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), American Gangster (2007), and the first season of HBO’s The Wire (2002). Work from David Lee’s fine art portfolio has been shown at the Museum of the City of New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and Boston’s Photography Resource Center. David was also included in “Songs of My People,” a group show of works from 100 African American photographers that has traveled internationally.  In 2014, the Academy celebrated Lee’s work on his brother’s films in an exhibition titled “WAKE UP! An Exhibition of Still Unit Photography by David Lee.”


Gil Scott-Heron on Ossie Davis’s and Ruby Dee’s TV Show, “Ossie and Ruby”. Part 1 of a 3-part video… 

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuc11vTL14c
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxN9xcrZAS8

Directed by their grandson Muta'Ali Muhammad, and titled “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee,” the “documentary style film about Love, art and activism” tells the life and love story of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, for the first time, incorporating candid and revealing conversations and much more.

Premieres on Centric on January 17, 2016 @ 3:30PM. Available on DVD February 1, 2016

December 18, 2015

Today In History

‘Ossie Davis was born in Cogdell, GA, on this date December 18, 1917. The highly successful actor, author, producer, and director both wrote and starred in the Broadway hit Purlie Victorious. Davis has numerous roles on television and in film to his credit.’

(photo: Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis)

- CARTER Magazine


Happy Birthday Ossie Davis! (Dec. 18, 1917 - Feb. 4, 2005)

1. View of Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and their children, Guy Davis and Nora Davis. Typed on back: “Ruby Dee and her family. Guy Davis, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee Davis, Nora Davis. Photographed in the Music and Drama Department of the Detroit Public Library, August 1966 by Lester Sloan. This is a proof (not a finished print)." 

2. View of actor Ossie Davis posing with his wife, actress Ruby Dee. Handwritten on back: "Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee. Amer. Heart Assoc., Det., Mi." 

3. View of singer and actress Pearl Bailey and actor Ossie Davis on an episode from the television show "Love American style” entitled “Love and the high spirits.” Label on back: “Pearl Bailey stars as Sister MMM, a professional medium, and Ossie Davis stars as Al Berry, a widower, who seeks a message from his departed wife, through Sister MMM, on whether he should re-marry, in ‘Love and the high spirits,’ on the ABC Television Network’s 'Love American style,’ Friday, Oct. 5 (10:00-11:00 p.m., EDT). Privately, the medium rates Berry a rare matrimonial prospect for herself.” Handwritten on back: “Bailey, Pearl. Title: Love and the high spirits.”

4. View of actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Printed on front: “Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Exclusive tour direction: "National Artists Management Company, 165 W. 46th St., Suite 1202, New York, N.Y. 10036, (212) 575-1044.” Handwritten on back: “Dee, Ruby." 

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library