Actor Ossie Davis, a central figure among African American performers over the past five decades, has died. He was 87-years-old.

He was found dead Friday in his hotel room in Miami, Florida, where he was making a film called Retirement.

Ossie Davis was the husband and partner of actress Ruby Dee. In 2004, Davis and Dee were among the artists selected to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.

Davis wrote, acted and directed for theater, television and numerous Hollywood films. He most recently appeared in Get on the Bus and I'm Not Rappaport.

He was distinguished for screen roles dealing with racial injustice, but also an activist for civil rights in real life.