Diahann Carroll Leaves Cast of "A Raisin in the Sun"

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Diahann Carroll, the 78-year-old actress who had agreed to play Lena Younger in the new Broadway version of A Raisin in the Sun, has decided not to pursue the part after all.

According to the production's spokesman, Philip Rinaldi, Carroll decided to leave the project "due to the demands of the vigorous rehearsal schedule and the subsequent eight-performances-a-week playing schedule.”

Carroll has been replaced by the 64-year-old wife of Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson. Jackson will assume the role of Lena, a part in which she will play the mother of main character, Walter Lee Younger.

Walter Lee is being portrayed by Denzel Washington, making him just five years younger than his new "mother" in the production.

The opening night of A Raisin in the Sun is set for April 3rd, while performances will begin on March 8th, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

This is the second time the play has been shown on Broadway; the play written by Lorraine Hansberry, first appeared on the stage in 1959, and starred Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, and Diana Sands, among others. It was met with an overwhelmingly positive response, earning Poitier a Tony nomination in 1960.

In 1961, the Broadway cast reunited to make the film version of the play, which went on to receive several Golden Globe nominations and won the "Gary Cooper Award" at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2004, A Raisin in the Sun was produced for the second time on Broadway starring Diddy, Felicia Rashaad, Phylicia Rashad, Sanaa Lathan and Audra McDonald.

Main image courtesy The Arsenio Hall Show via YouTube.

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