Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hattie McDaniel

• 1939: Hattie McDaniel, Gone with the Wind

Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) was an actress and the first African-American performer to be nominated and win an Academy Award. Born in Wichita, Kansas to former slaves, McDaniel won the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939). McDaniel was also a professional singer-songwriter, comedienne, and radio performer. McDaniel was also the first African-American woman to sing on the radio. Over the course of her career, McDaniel appeared in over 300 films, although she only received screen credits for about 80. McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one for her contributions to radio and one for her contributions to motion pictures. In 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, and in 2006 she became the first African-American Academy Award winner honored with a US postage stamp.

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