Claudia McNeil was an American actress. She was a theater as well a film actress. She is best known for her role of Lena Younger, which she performed on stage as well for the production of A Raisin in the Sun. In 1981, she appeared in the musical play Raisin, which was by Equity Library Theater. She was born in Maryland. Her parents were Marvin Spencer McNeil, and Annie Mae Anderson McNeil. After her birth, her family moved to New York City. After some years, her father left them, and she was looked up by her mother. She worked for The Heckscher Foundation for Children. She was later adopted by a Jewish couple. She started off as a librarian but after some time, she started performing vaudeville theaters and night clubs. She used to sing for Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe. She made her first stage appearance in 1953 on the advice of Ethel Waters. She played the role of Tituba in The Crucible. After four years McNeil sang in the musical album Simply Heavenly. In 1961, she did the role of her 1959. Stage show in the movie A Raisin in the Sun.
She played the role of a very strict mother who used to control her son and wanted to buy a house for her family. She acted in many movies and was best noted for The Last Angry Man; There Was a Crooked Man, Black Girl and many more. She even continued with her theater plays and was a part of Tiger Burning Bright, The Amen Corner, and Wrong Way Light-Bulb. She was also a part of many TV shows like The DuPont Show of the Month, The DuPont Show of the Month, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and Roots: The Next Generations. She was married at the age of 19.She lost her husband in
World War II
. They had two sons, and both lost their lives in Korean War. She again got married in 1962, with Herman McCoy but they soon divorced. She had great faith in Catholicism and got converted in 1952. She died in 1993 due to some complications in diabetes. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in 1959. She was even nominated for a Golden Globe Award and the BAFTA Award for A Raisin in the Sun in 1961.