After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted in film as a maid in The Golden West (1932). Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest (1934) and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams (1935). In this one,…more
Hattie was 57 years old at the time of her death.
Before presenting the Oscar for Supporting Actress which Hattie would eventually win, Fay Bainter paid tribute to her nomination by saying "It is a tribute to a country where people are free to honor noteworthy achievements regardless of creed, race or color".
Hattie is one of only 22 African American to win an Oscar.
The only other African-American winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar are Whoopi Goldberg in 1991 (51 years after Hattie's win) and Jennifer Hudson in 2007 (67 years after Hattie's win.
Hattie was nominated for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar alongside her co-star Olivia de Havilland.
Hattie was married a total of 4 times.
Hattie was the first African American to be buried in Los Angeles' Rosedale Cemetery.
Despite having an estate valued at over $11,000 when she dies, Hattie only left $1 to her husband, Larry Williams.
Hattie's Oscar for Best Supporting Actress was presented to her by Fay Bainter.
Hattie has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1719 Vine Street and
6933 Hollywood Blvd. One is for contribution to radio and the other for motion pictures.
She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, in 1939, for her role in the movie Gone With the Wind. In doing so she became the first African-American to win, or be nominated for, an Oscar.
Hattie: I'd rather play a maid than be one.
Hattie: Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn't, I'd be making $7 a week being one.