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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 August 1934New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 21 September 1973New York City, New York, USA  (leiomyosarcoma)
Birth NameDiana Patricia Sands

Mini Bio (1)

Diana Sands was born on August 22, 1934 in New York City, New York, USA as Diana Patricia Sands. She was an actress, known for A Raisin in the Sun (1961), The Landlord (1970) and Willie Dynamite (1974). She was married to Lucien Happersberger. She died on September 21, 1973 in New York City.

Spouse (1)

Lucien Happersberger (October 1964 - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (9)

Diana Sands was originally cast in the title role for the film, Claudine (1974), but her cancer forced her to drop out. She then suggested her friend, Diahann Carroll as her replacement.
Ironically, Ms. Sands, who played "Beneatha Younger" in "A Raisin in the Sun" and its playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, died very young of cancer. A theatre in Wisconsin, the Hansberry-Sands Theatre, was so named in tribute to them both.
Superior Black actress of the 50s and 60s who defied the odds and played Shakespearean and Shavian roles normally cast for white actresses.
Appeared in a 1961 musical revue entitled "Another Evening with Harry Stoones" which also featured a 19-year-old Barbra Streisand.
When white actress Kim Stanley became unavailable to play the leading role of Doris in the 1964 Broadway romantic comedy "The Owl and the Pussycat," it was offered to Sands , who went on to play the role opposite Alan Alda. Not one line was changed to accommodate her race, and the casting generated relatively little controversy.
Her father was a carpenter and her mother a milliner. She graduated from the Manhattan High School of the Performing Arts.
Won a host of stage acting awards including an Outer Critics Circle Award for "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959), a Theatre World Award for "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright" (1962), and an Obie Award for "The Living Premise" (1964). She also earned two successive Tony nominations in 1964 and 1965 for "Blues for Mister Charlie" and "The Owl and the Pussycat," not to mention two Emmy nominations for her dramatic TV work.
Was engaged to director Kurt Baker at the time of her death. She was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum.
Won a host of stage acting awards including an Outer Critics Circle Award for "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959), a Theatre World Award for "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright" (1962), and an Obie Award for "The Living Premise" (1964). She also earned two successive Tony nominations: in 1964 as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "Blues for Mister Charlie" and in 1965 as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "The Owl and the Pussycat," not to mention two Emmy nominations for her dramatic TV work.

Personal Quotes (1)

I refuse to be stereotyped. Look at me. Never mind my color. Please look at me!

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