Hattie McDaniel

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Biography

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Born

6/10/1895 , Wichita, Kansas, USA

Died

10/26/1952

Birth Name

Gender

Female

Biography:

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, directed by George Stevens and aided and abetted by star Katherine Hepburn, she makes it clear she has little use for her employers' pretensions status seeking. By The Mad Miss Manton (1938) she actually tells off her socialite employer Barbara Stanwyck and her snooty friends. This path extends into the greatest role of her career, Mammy inGone With The Wind (1939). Here she is, in a number of ways, superior to most of the white folk surrounding her. From that point here roles descend again, becoming more and more menial. She played on Amos 'n' Andy and Eddie Cantor radio shows in the 30s and 40s; the title in her own radio show Beulah (1947-51), and the same part on TV (1951). Her part inGone With The Wind won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, the first black to win an Academy Award.