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Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel was an American singer and actress. She was born in Wichita, Kansas. Making her first appearance in motion pictures in 1932, she spent much of her twenty year career playing maids, due mainly to the paucity of roles available to African American actresses. It was one such role, the part of Mammy in Gone With the Wind (1939), opposite Vivien Leigh, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on February 29, 1940, the first Black performer to win an Oscar.

Hattie McDaniel died on October 26, 1952 and was interred in the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. It had been her wish to be buried with her fellow movie stars in the Hollywood Cemetery in Hollywood; however Jack Roth, the cemetery's owner at the time, refused to allow her to be buried there because she was a Negro and could not be in the same cemetery as White people. Thus, she was interred in Rosedale Cemetery.

In 1999, the new owner of the Hollywood Cemetery who changed its name to Hollywood Forever Cemetery wanted to right that wrong. Ms. McDaniel's family did not want to disturb her remains after all that time, so the cemetery did the next best thing and built a memorial to Hattie McDaniel on the lawn overlooking the lake. It is one of the most popular sites for visitors to the cemetery.

Hattie McDaniel has two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood; one for radio at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard and one for motion pictures at 1719 Vine Street.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Hattie McDaniel Facts

OccupationActress, Musician
BirthdayJune 10, 1895
BirthplaceWichita, Kansas, USA
Date of deathOctober 2, 1952 (age 57)
Height5' 2" (1m57)  How tall is Hattie McDaniel compared to you?
Awards1940 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (for Gone With the Wind)

Selected Filmography

Gone with the Wind
George Washington Slept Here
Sky Racket
Judge Priest
In This Our Life
Great Lie, The
The Male Animal
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