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Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1895-06-10

64 Movies · 2 TV Series

Biography

Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1893 – October 26, 1952) was an American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedian. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Mammy” in Gone with the Wind (1939), becoming the first African American to win an Oscar. In addition to acting in many films, McDaniel recorded 16 blues sides between 1926–1929 (10 were issued) and was a radio performer and television star; she was the first black woman to sing on radio in the United States. She appeared in over 300 films, although she received screen credits for only 83.Encountering racism and racial segregation throughout her career, McDaniel was unable to attend the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta because it was held at a whites-only theater, and at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles she sat at a segregated table at the side of the room; the Ambassador Hotel where the ceremony was held was for whites only, but allowed McDaniel in as a favor. When she died in 1952, her final wish--to be buried in Hollywood Cemetery--was denied because the graveyard was restricted to whites only. McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to radio; and one at 1719 Vine Street for acting in motion pictures. She was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1975, and in 2006 she became the first black Oscar winner honored with a U.S. postage stamp. In 2010, she was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame.

Early Life

McDaniel, the youngest of 13 children, was born to formerly-enslaved parents in Wichita, Kansas. Her mother, Susan Holbert (1850–1920), was a singer of gospel music, and her father, Henry McDaniel (1845–1922), fought in the Civil War with the 122nd United States Colored Troops. In 1900, the family moved to Colorado, living first in Fort Collins and then in Denver, where Hattie attended Denver East High School (1908-1910) and in 1908 entered a contest sponsored by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, reciting "Convict Joe", later claiming she had won first place. Her brother, Sam McDaniel (1886–1962), played the butler in the 1948 Three Stooges' short film Heavenly Daze. Her sister Etta McDaniel was also an actress.

Movies & TV Series

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