Born October 12, 1920 (one source cites 1916), in Charleston, SC; died of cancer, August 14, 1994, in Queens, NY. Actress, playwright, and novelist. Childress was known for her frank treatment of the problems faced by African-Americans in contemporary American society, and, as a result, her works were oftenthe center of controversy. After beginning her career as an actress with theAmerican Negro Theatre in New York City, Childress turned to play writing inthe 1940s; in 1949 she directed and starred in the American Negro Theatre production of her one-act play Florence. She subsequently wrote a number of plays, and in 1973 she published her first novel, the story of a young African-American drug addict titled A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich, which was widely praised for its power and realism but later banned as obscene by a Long Island school district. On another occasion, when her play about interracial marriage, Wedding Band, was adapted for television, a number of stations refused to carry the broadcast. Undeterred by such censure, Childress continued towrite about her concerns throughout her lifetime, and her works received numerous honors and awards. Her other writings include a play about black actorstitled Trouble in Mind, the novels A Short Walk and Rainbow Jordan, severalmusical dramas, and screenplays for Wedding Band and A Hero Ain't Nothin' buta Sandwich.