Spike Lee and Anika Noni Rose have offered up tributes to actress Ruby Dee following news of her death on Thursday (12Jun14)

The Oscar-nominated actress, poet, playwright and civil rights activist passed away from age-related causes, prompting an outpouring of grief and respect from the Hollywood community.

Lee, who directed Dee in Do The Right Thing and Jungle Fever, called her his "spiritual mother" in one tweet, while rap mogul Russell Simmons revealed she "inspired" him throughout his life and career with her civil rights activism.

And Rose, who stars in the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, which Dee took to the stage in 1961, thanked the late star for being a trailblazer.

She wrote, "Rip, Ruby Dee. Thank you for paving the way with your brilliance, beauty, fight and grace."