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Hattie McDaniel (Wichita (Kansas)1895 - June 10, Los Angeles (California), October 26, 1952) was an American actress. She was the first African American who received aAcademy Award .


[hide]*1 early life

Youth Years[Edit]Edit

McDaniel was born in Wichita , the daughter of Henry McDaniel and Susan Holbert. Her father was a preacher and Susan sang religious songs. Her grandmother was a slave, working as a cook in Virginia. Hatties father was born into slavery. He was a soldier in the Union Army during the American civil war.

Hattie was the youngest of thirteen children. In 1910 she received a medal for a poem she wrote. Since then, she knew she wanted to be an entertainer. They stopped school and traveled with a group of performers, which was founded by her father and two of her brothers, Otis and Sam. After Otis in 1916 died, they stopped this. 1920 she had nothing to to do with the life as an entertainer.


Novice actress[Edit]Edit

McDaniel was one of the first women who sang on the radio. In 1925 she sang regularly for the radio station from DenverKOA (AM). Since they also wrote songs, she sang this too sometimes. She was noticed and if singing in theaters in major cities.

In 1931 she moved to Los Angeles, where quite a few of her siblings lived. She could get no work in the film industry here, so she was a maid and a cook. Her brother Sam worked at the time at a radio station, called "The Optimistic Do-Nut Hour", and arranged for her to sing a few chances there.

From 1932 she got small roles in movies. She often a maid or a singer in a choir. They got a lot of criticism about it time and time again playing a maid, but often on here replied: I rather play a maid than that I am.

Her first major role in a movie came in 1934. They then played in Judge Priest, directed by John Ford. They soon became friends with the biggest stars, such as Joan CrawfordBette DavisShirley TempleHenry FondaRonald ReaganOlivia de Havilland and Clark Gable.

Gone with the Wind[Edit]Edit

She was very popular, even though they still got a lot of criticism about the roles she played and there were many racists who were not allowed to. Nevertheless, in 1939 , she received an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in one of the most popular films: Gone with the Wind. She was the first African American to an oscar nominee and winner was. Many people here were against it. They found McDaniel anyway not suitable for a role in such an important film. They found that Hattie was not good enough.

At the premiere of Gone with the Wind, Hattie was not present. They said to the Director of the film, Victor Fleming, that this was because she was ill. They came, however, doesn't show up because she was afraid of the racists. When Clark Gable heard this, he wanted to persuade her to come anyway, no success though.

The pain experienced by all of racists that Hattie, came her career on the back burner to stand. Her last film was released in 1949 . However, she was still active on the radio and on television.

McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for her work at the radio and one for her films. Since 29 January 2006 there is also a postage stamp with her face on it.

Personal life[Edit]Edit

Hattie married four times in her life:

  • In 1922 , she married George Langford, which, however, soon after the wedding was assassinated by a pistol shot.
  • In 1938 , she was briefly married to Howard Hickman.
  • From 1941 to 1945 James Lloyd Crawford was her husband.
  • She was from 1949 to 1950 the wife of Larry Williams.

In 1945 they announced via columnist Hedda Hopper that she was pregnant. She was very happy and was already working with buy clothes for her child. It turned out to be false alarms. After this, she was a depression.


Hattie died on October 26, 1952 at the age of 57 years in Woodland Hills to breast cancer. It was her dream to be buried at her colleagues in Hollywood Cemetery. She was here refused, because of her race.Therefore, she was buried at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery.

When in 1999 a new owner at the Hollywood Cemetery, he was willing to move here anyway Hattie. Because her family did not want to be disturbed, she refused this. That is why the owner out of respect aCenotaph to her spent. This is nowadays a well visited place by her fans.


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