The grandson of actress Ruby Dee is mourning the loss of his famous grandmother and releasing a new documentary about her extraordinary life. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
A riveting documentary about Ruby Dee was released Sunday just days after her death. The film is called "Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee" and her grandson, Muta'Ali, is the director. He says he watched his grandmother pass away peacefully.
"We were all there around her bed in her room when it happened. And my mother told me that she told her as she was transitioning that everything is alright," says Muta'Ali.
The documentary is a fascinating look into the private lives of two very public people - Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee - through the eyes of their 34-year-old grandson.
Ali conducted about a half dozen interviews with the woman he calls GramRuby at her home in New Rochelle revealing many tidbits that are little known like the FBI files that were kept on the activist couple dating back to the 1950s. They publicly supported Malcolm X, Dr. King and The Blank Panthers.
"I didn't find anything that that FBI file that would suggest they were fearful about anything," says Muta'Ali.
The film also follows Ruby from her early childhood to her acting career when she declared that she would never portray a maid or a mammy and how she was anxious to get her signature role in "A Raisin In The Sun."
"I'm hoping though that today's generation or younger than me even can get a glimpse into Ossie and Ruby that they haven't had before," says Muta'Ali.