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Mon, 06.10.1895

Hattie McDaniel, Actress born

Hattie McDaniel

This date marks the birthday of Hattie McDaniel in 1895. She was a Black actress.

Hattie McDaniel was born in Wichita, KS. She dropped out of school in 1910 to join a minstrel show and toured with minstrel shows and the vaudeville circuit until the onset of the 20th-century depression. McDaniel spent about a year singing in Milwaukee before moving to Los Angeles.

There, her brother found a part for her on a radio show called "The Optimistic Do-Nuts." She had a film debut in 1932, singing a duet with Will Rogers in the 20th Century-Fox film, "Judge Priest." She appeared in many films for the remainder of the 1930s and through the 1940s and performed on numerous radio shows, including the "Eddie Cantor Show" and "Amos 'n Andy."

In 1939, McDaniel won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her performance as “Mammy” in "Gone with the Wind." Other significant roles include “Queenie” in Universal's 1936 production of "Show Boat" and Emily Hawkin in Selznick's "Since You Went Away."  In 1941, she chaired the Hollywood Victory Committee Negro Division.  During World War II, It provided a means for stage, screen, television, and radio performers not in military service to contribute to the war effort through bond drives and improving troops' morale.

In 1947, she found a regular part on the radio in "The Beulah Show." In 1951, the show left the radio in favor of television, and she stayed with the show until her death from breast cancer. Hattie McDaniel, one of the greatest of all American character actresses, died at 57 in 1952.

To become an Actor or Actress


Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
ISBN 0-926019-61-9

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