NEW YORK (AP) – Actor and civil rights activist Ossie Davis was remembered Friday as a man of strength and integrity, as mourners including Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover paid their respects at a Harlem church.

“He … stood for such integrity and for such grace and power, I think his life and the life of (wife) Ruby Dee are lives that have been bridges to my own, so I felt like I needed to honor that in some way,” Winfrey said as she exited the church.

Davis died Feb. 4 in his hotel room in Miami Beach, Fla., where the 87-year-old actor had been making a film. His funeral is Saturday.

People stood in the cold outside the church for hours to attend Friday’s viewing. Dee, as well as family and friends of the actor, were seated inside in front of Davis’ open casket.

Store owner Karen Muhammad, 41, said she had always considered Davis and Dee role models.

“I all my life wanted to meet them,” she said. “It’s unfortunate I have to be here under these circumstances, but I felt I had to stand here. They stood for something, I can at least stand out here and say goodbye.”

Muhammad said she was pleased to see celebrities coming to pay tribute. “They paved the way for a lot of these actors and actresses,” she said.

Other celebrities at the church included Lynn Whitfield, Spike Lee and Avery Brooks.

Davis married Dee in 1948.


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