She played Lena Younger in Lorraine Hansberry's play, "A Raisin in the Sun," at the Blackstone Theatre in Chicago, Illinois with Ruby Dee (Ruth Younger); Glynn Turman (Travis Younger); Sidney Poitier (Walter Lee Younger); Diana Sands (Beneatha Younger); Ivan Dixon (Joseph Asagai); Lou Gossett (George Murchison); Lonne Elder III...
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I have more work than I can do. I have a nice, cheerful, comfortable home. I am solvent. Above all, I have strength, health, and peace of mind. I know where I'm going. I am an American citizen. I love my country. I pay my taxes and vote, and I intend to have a say in how my country is run.
McNeil, a former librarian who came to show business relatively late in life after appearing in radio, vaudeville and clubs as a singer, was an enduring, strong-willed, maternal presence in the same tradition as actresses such as Ethel Waters
, Juanita Moore
, Theresa Merritt
, Mabel King
, Esther Rolle
, and Virginia Capers
, the last of whom won the Tony in 1974 playing McNeil's role in the Broadway ...