Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
Michael Haneke to Lance Henriksen
Lorraine (Vivian) Hansberry Biography (1930-1965)
Full name, Lorraine Vivian Hansberry; born May 19, 1930, in Chicago, IL; diedof cancer, January 12, 1965, in New York City; buried in Beth-El Cemetery, Croton-on-Hudson, NY; daughter of Carl Augustus (a realtor and banker) and Nannie (Perry) Hansberry; married Robert B. Nemiroff (a music publisher and songwriter), June 20, 1953 (divorced, 1964). Avocational interests: Pingpong, skiing, walking in the woods, reading biographies, conversation. Career: Writer and director. Freedomways(monthly magazine), journalist, 1950-51, then associate editor, 1952-53. Also worked as an aide to a theatrical producer, a department store clerk, in a fur store, and as a waitress,hostess, and cashier in a Greenwich Village restaurant run by Robert B. Nemiroff's family. Member: Dramatists Guild, Ira Aldrich Society, Institutefor Advanced Study in the Theater Arts. Awards, Honors: Named most promising playwright of the season, Variety magazine, 1959; New York Drama Critics Circle Award, best American play, 1959, Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best play, 1960, both for A Raisin in the Sun; Cannes International Film Festival special award and Screen Writers Guild nomination, 1961,both for A Raisin in the Sun..
Hansberry is the subject of a film, The Black Experience in the Creation of Dramatic Subject, Films for the Humanities.
- Writer, Director
- Birth Details
- May 19, 1930
- Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Death Details
- January 12, 1965
- New York, New York, United States
Kicks and Co, Arie Crown Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1961
Lorraine Hansberry Speaks Out: Art and the Black Revolution, Caedmon, 1972
A Raisin in the Sun, Caedmon, 1972
A Raisin in the Sun, U.S. cities, 1959
The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1964
Les Blancs, published by Hart Stenographic Bureau, 1966
A Raisin in the Sun, Columbia, 1961
The Movement: Documentary of a Struggle for Equality, Simon &Schuster (New York City), 1964
- Contributor to books, including American Playwrights on Drama, edited by Horst Frenz, Hill & Wang, 1965; Three Negro Plays, introduction by C. W. E. Bigsby, Penguin, 1969; and Black Titan: W. E. B. Du Bois;an Anthology by the Editors of Freedomways, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 1970. Contributor to periodicals, including the Negro Digest,
Theatre Arts, and Village Voice.
December 18, 2003: Hansbury's A Raisin in the Sun is scheduledfor its first Broadway revival in 2004. The production will star Sean Combs.Source: Associated Press, http://customwire.ap.org, December 18, 2003.
- Hansberry's writings were adapted for the stage production To Be Young, Gifted, and Black: A Portrait of Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words, produced at the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City, 1969; and was edited and adapted for print by Robert B. Nemiroff and Samuel French, with an introduction by James Baldwin, and was published by Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1969, and by Samuel French, 1971; it was also dramatized as a production ofthe National Educational Television and Radio Center, 1997. A Raisin in the Sun was adapted as the musical Raisin and was first produced atthe Forty-sixth Street Theatre, New York City, 1973; it was also adapted asa television special and broadcast on American Playhouse, PBS, 1989.
- Carter, Steven R., Hansberry's Drama: Commitment amid Complexity,University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1991.
- McKissack, Patricia C., and Frederick L. McKissack, Young, Black, andDetermined: A Biography of Lorraine Hansberry, Holiday House (New York City), 1997.*
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