Lifetime Achievement Award For Davis And Dee

For over fifty years, actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee have collaborated as a team both professionally and personally. On Sunday March 11, their peers will recognize them with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. Davis and Dee visit Wednesday's Early Show to talk about the recognition.
Established in 1962, the acting union's award has for the past 37 years celebrated those members who have improved the image of the acting profession through public service and humanitarian endeavors.

Previous honorees include Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Redford. The event airs live on TNT Sunday night at 8 p.m./ET.

Davis and Dee met in 1946, while performing in the Broadway play Jeb, two years later they married. They documented their relationship in the book With Ossie & Ruby: In This Life Together.

As actors, they have led successful careers both as individuals and as a team. Davis' extensive acting credits include the theatre production of A Raisin in the Sun; Purlie Victorious, which he wrote and starred; I'm Not Rappaport; the film No Way Out, and the television series Evening Shade with Burt Reynolds and Promised Land. Ms. Dee's credits include the theatre production of Anna Lucasta; The Taming of The Shrew; and a regular role on the daytime soap Guiding Light. In the last decade, the duo was introduced to a younger audience after appearing in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing and Jungle Fever.

As activists, Davis and Dee have maintained their commitment to social causes. They rallied to defend The Rosenbergs in 1953, marched on Washington with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, and recently were arrested, while marching in protest of the shooting of Amadou Diallo, in 1999.

Davis has been recognized with the following awards:

  • Neil Simon Award for For Us, the Living
  • Two NAACP Image Awards
  • National Medal of Arts Award
  • Tony and Emmy nominations for:
    • Jamaica - Outstanding Supporting or Featured Musical Actor, 1958.
    • Purlie - Best Musical Play, 1970.
    • Teacher, Teacher - Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for The Hallmark Hall of Fame, 1968/69.
    • King - Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, 1977/78.

Dee has received the following awards:

  • National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for A Raisin in the Sun, 1961.
  • OBIE Award for Best Performance By An Actress for Boesman and Lena, 1970/71.
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance for Boesman and Lena, 191.
  • Drama Desk Award for Wedding Band performed at New York Shakespeare Festival, 1973.
  • CableACE Award for Best Actress (Dramatic Special) for Long Day's Journey Into Night, 1983.
  • Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special for Decoration Day, 1990/91.
  • Women in Film Crystal Award, 1991.
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Promised Land, 1998.

  • Visit for more about Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee .
  • Visit The Screen Actors Guild Web site for more about the award.