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Lorraine Vivian Hansberry

The Broadway show, as well as the film adaptation made in 1961 of A Raisin in the Sun, included prominent black actors and moguls such as Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands and Glynn Turman.

Sidney Poitier in an exuberant moment from the 1961 film of A Raisin in the Sun, with actresses Diana Sand and Ruby Dee. All three had appeared in the original Broadway production.

Sidney Poitier in an exuberant moment from the 1961 film of A Raisin in the Sun, with actresses Diana Sand and Ruby Dee. All three had appeared in the original Broadway production.

 

Sidney Poitier talks about Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun from The Film Posse on Vimeo.

 

Sidney Poitier is most known for being the first Black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lillies in a Field in 1963.

"As an actress, playwright, activist and poet, Ruby Dee is one of the most accomplished women of our time. The "Raisin in the Sun" star has won an Emmy, a Grammy, a SAG award and was a recipient of the 2004 Kennedy Center Honors (along with her late huband, Ossie Davis)"

“As an actress, playwright, activist and poet, Ruby Dee is one of the most accomplished women of our time. The Raisin in the Sun star has won an Emmy, a Grammy, a SAG award and was a recipient of the 2004 Kennedy Center Honors (along with her late huband, Ossie Davis)”

Ruby Dee is a critically acclaimed African American actor and  was a civil rights activist during the Civil Rights Movement. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named A Raisin in the Sun the best play of 1959. In 1960, A Raisin in the Sun was nominate for 4 Tony Awards, which recognize achievement in live Broadway theatre.

Ruby Dee on her role in A Raisin in the Sun

http://vimeo.com/94375269

Lorraine Hansberry Documentary Project co-director /producer Tracy Heather Strain interviewed Ruby Dee in February 2009.

 

The nominations were as follows:

A Raisin in the Sun for Best Play A-Raisin-In-The-Sun-Playbill-06-59A-Raisin-in-the-Run-06-59-1

Synopsis

“Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark drama was one of the first on Broadway to examine African-American life on the cusp of the civil rights era. Walter Younger and his mother, Lena, both yearn to move their family out of Chicago’s Southside ghetto. When Lena’s late husband’s insurance check arrives, Lena hopes to use it to buy a house in a white neighborhood — while Walter hopes to invest it in a liquor business.”

Sidney Poitier for Best Actor in a Play

"He acted in the first production of A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway in 1959, and later starred in the film version released in 1961."

“He acted in the first production of A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway in 1959, and later starred in the film version released in 1961.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Poitier

Claudia McNeil for Best Actress in a Play

"Claudia McNeil (August 13, 1917 – November 25, 1993) was an American actress known for premiering the role of matriarch Lena Younger in both the stage and screen productions of A Raisin in the Sun. She later appeared in a 1981 production of the musical version of the play, Raisin presented by Equity Library Theater. She was twice nominated for a Tony Award, first for her onstage performance in A Raisin in the Sun (1959), and again for the play Tiger Tiger Burning Bright in 1962. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the screen version of A Raisin in the Sun in 1961." - (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

“Claudia McNeil (August 13, 1917 – November 25, 1993) was an American actress known for premiering the role of matriarch Lena Younger in both the stage and screen productions of A Raisin in the Sun. She later appeared in a 1981 production of the musical version of the play, Raisin presented by Equity Library Theater. She was twice nominated for a Tony Award, first for her onstage performance in A Raisin in the Sun (1959), and again for the play Tiger Tiger Burning Bright in 1962. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the screen version of A Raisin in the Sun in 1961.” – (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_McNeil

Claudia McNeil

Lloyd Richards for Best Direction of a Play

Lloyd Richards - "Mr. Richards explained why directing Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking drama "A Raisin in the Sun" on Broadway in 1958 was so meaningful to him. "This was not about being the first black director to work on Broadway," he added. "This was about showing that black people could be in love."

Lloyd Richards – “Mr. Richards explained why directing Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking drama A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway in 1958 was so meaningful to him. “This was not about being the first black director to work on Broadway,” he added. “This was about showing that black people could be in love.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Richards

Lloyd George Richards was a Canadian-American theatre director, actor, and dean of the Yale School of Drama from 1979 to 1991, and Yale University professor emeritus.

“Among Richards’ accomplishments are his staging the original production of Lorraine Hansberry‘s A Raisin in the Sun, debuting on Broadway to standing ovations on 11 March 1959, and in 1984 he introduced August Wilson to Broadway in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. As head of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, he helped develop the careers ofWendy WassersteinChristopher DurangLee Blessing and David Henry Hwang. Richards died of heart failure on his eighty-seventh birthday in New York City.Mr. Richards also taught Moscow Art Theatre acting technique under Paul Mann at the Actor’s Workshop in New York alongside Morris Carnovsky.”

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The 1961 film adaptation also received several awards and recognition’s: The National Board of Review recognized Ruby Dee with the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in the film version of A Raisin in the Sun.

Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Dee

Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil were nominated for Golden Globe Awards for their roles in the film.