Ruby Dee Legendary Actress and Civil Rights Activist Dies at 91

6/12/2014 9:01 AM PDT

Ruby Dee Dead -- Legendary Actress and Activist Dies at 89


Ruby Dee -- one of the legendary actresses in Hollywood and on Broadway -- died Wednesday night ... TMZ has learned.

Ruby was at home in New Rochelle, NY ... surrounded by family when she passed away ... according to sources connected to the family. A rep confirmed the death.

Ruby was a pioneer for African-American women in Hollywood ... and is perhaps best known for her starring role in the 1960s film "A Raisin in the Sun" -- and her roles in the Spike Lee movies "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever." Her most recent big budget Hollywood film was "American Gangster" ... she played Denzel Washington's mother.

Ruby was a poet and screenwriter. She won a Grammy, an Emmy ... and also received the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.

She and her late husband Ossie Davis -- with whom she frequently co-starred -- were also hugely active in the Civil Rights movement -- often demonstrating with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

Ruby was 91 years old.