African-American actress Diana Sands built her theatrical reputation in the 1950s upon her adamant refusal to be stereotyped. Despite resistance from certain producers and directors who shall remain nameless, Diana insisted upon playing the classic stage roles (Medea, Antigone, Portia and the like) normally assigned to white actresses. Even so, for her portrayal of American black woman Beneatha Younger in Raisin in the Sun Diana won the Outer Circle Critics' Award in 1959. She successfully repeated this characterization in the 1961 film version of Raisin, then settled into a series of less prestigious film roles. She continued headlining on Broadway, appearing in such hits as 1969's The Owl and the Pussycat. Diana Sands' final films, Willie Dynamite (1973) and Honeybaby Honeybaby (1974), were released posthumously, after her sudden death from cancer at the age of 39.