(TMZ) - 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 to TMZ.

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 several Spike Lee movies ... including 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's won a Grammy, an Emmy ... and received the National Medal of Arts.

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

Ruby was 89 years old.

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