Diana Sands was born in New York City on August 22, 1934, the daughter of a carpenter and a millner. She graduated from the Manhattan High School of The Performing Arts in 1953.
Diana made her stage debut off-Broadway playing Juliet in "An Evening with Will Shakespeare" in 1953 and a year later she appeared in a revival of Bernard Shaw’s "Major Barbara." She would later appear in "Land Beyond The River," "Another Evening With Harry Stoones," "A Raisin In The Sun," "The Owl & The Pussycat," "Blues For Mr. Charlie," "Living Premise," "Caesar & Cleopatra," "Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright," "Antony & Cleopatra," "Saint Joan" and "Phaedre." Her role opposite Alan Alda in "The Owl & The Pussycat" was very controversial in 1964. It was the first Broadway production in which white and black costars had been cast romantically without any mention of race or color. Diana won an Obie for her role in "Living Premise," a Tony nomination for her role in "Blues for Mr. Charlie" and the Outer Circle Critics Award in 1959 for her role as Beneatha Younger in "A Raisin In The Sun."
Diana’s film roles include "A Raisin In The Sun" (reprising her stage role), "The Landlord" and "Willie Dynamite."
Diana’s tv guest appearances include "East Side/West Side," "The Outer Limits," "I Spy" and "Medical Center." She had recurring roles in "The Nurses," "Dr. Kildare" and "Julia."
Diana was originally cast in the title role for the film "Claudine" but had to drop out due to her bout with cancer. That role went to her friend Diahann Carroll. Diana died of cancer on September 21, 1973.
Diana's film credits include the following:
- Honeybaby, Honeybaby (1974)
- Willie Dynamite (1974)
- Two's Company (1973)(Tv Movie)
- The Living End (1972)(Tv Movie)
- Georgia, Georgia (1972)
- Doctors' Wives (1971)
- The Landlord (1970)
- Ensign Pulver (1964)
- An Affair Of The Skin (1963)
- A Raisin In The Sun (1957)
- Four Boys & A Gun (1957)
- Caribbean (1952)
Check out the following sites for additional information about Diana:
Diana Sands@Internet Movie Database
Diana Sands@African American Registry