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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Horn Section Salutes: Diana Sands (1934-1973)

It's hard to believe she's been gone this long. 35 years ago this week, the late, great Diana Sands left us way too young at age 39.

Sands' film appearances were unfortunately sporadic, but she was one of Broadway's biggest stars of the mid-1960's, best known for starring in the hits RAISIN IN THE SUN and THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT (with a young Alan Alda). She was Tony-nominated for her groundbreaking comedic performance in the latter and for her performance as the bereaved Juanita in 1964's BLUES FOR MISTER CHARLIE.

I'm planning on reviewing THE LANDLORD here soon--as usual, I can't believe it isn't on DVD yet. But Diana Sands brought her beauty, class and tremendous talent to a number of films, ranging from classics like RAISIN IN THE SUN and THE LANDLORD to the blaxploitation-lite WILLIE DYNAMITE.

The above clip is from THE DOCTORS' WIVES (1971), an unfortunately turgid soap opera. Still, Sands is terrific as usual as the 'other woman' in married Richard Crenna's life.

See for yourself how talented she was, and imagine the great performances we didn't get to see over the last three decades.

As usual, more film reviews to come.....

1 comment:

Steve Willis said...

Thanks for saluting the divine Diana Sands. I have written a one-woman play about her, which was given a staged reading this past June at the Schomburg in New York City. (I am hopeful that a full production will happen soon.)

Having researched Diana Sands' life and career for nearly three years, I am convinced that her story is an important one. She was a pioneering actress both onstage as well as in film and television. Her screen appearances rarely provided her with the caliber of material as her stage work; however, her acting skills, talent, and strong presence are evident every time I watch her.

To learn more about me, or about my play, feel free to visit my web site www.stevewillisplaywright.com.