65 Facts About Hattie McDaniel


Hattie McDaniel was an American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedian.


Hattie McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1975, and in 2006 she became the first Black Oscar winner honored with a US postage stamp.


Hattie McDaniel's best known other major films are Alice Adams, In This Our Life and Since You Went Away.


Hattie McDaniel experienced racism and racial segregation throughout her career, and was unable to attend the premiere of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta because it was held at a whites-only theater.


Hattie McDaniel, the youngest of 13 children, was born in 1893 to formerly-enslaved parents in Wichita, Kansas.


Hattie McDaniel's mother, Susan Holbert, was a singer of gospel music, and her father, Henry McDaniel, fought in the Civil War with the 122nd United States Colored Troops.


Hattie McDaniel honed her songwriting skills while working with her brother Otis McDaniel's carnival company, a minstrel show.


Hattie McDaniel recorded seven sessions: one in the summer of 1926 on the rare Kansas City label Meritt; four sessions in Chicago for Okeh from late 1926 to late 1927, and two sessions in Chicago for Paramount in March 1929.


In 1931, Hattie McDaniel moved to Los Angeles to join her brother Sam, and sisters Etta and Orlena.


Hattie McDaniel performed on radio as "Hi-Hat Hattie", a bossy maid who often "forgets her place".


Hattie McDaniel's show became popular, but her salary was so low that she had to keep working as a maid.


Hattie McDaniel made her first film appearance in The Golden West, in which she played a maid.


Hattie McDaniel received several other uncredited film roles in the early 1930s, often singing in choruses.


Hattie McDaniel began to attract attention and landed larger film roles, which began to win her screen credits.


Hattie McDaniel had a leading part in the film and demonstrated her singing talent, including a duet with Rogers.


In 1935, Hattie McDaniel had prominent roles, as a slovenly maid in Alice Adams ; a comic part as Jean Harlow's maid and traveling companion in China Seas ; and as the maid Isabella in Murder by Television, with Bela Lugosi.


Hattie McDaniel appeared in the 1938 film Vivacious Lady, starring James Stewart and Ginger Rogers.


Hattie McDaniel had a featured role as Queenie in the 1936 film Show Boat, starring Allan Jones and Irene Dunne, in which she sang a verse of Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man with Dunne, Helen Morgan, Paul Robeson, and a Black chorus.


Hattie McDaniel was a friend of many of Hollywood's most popular stars, including Joan Crawford, Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, Shirley Temple, Henry Fonda, Ronald Reagan, Olivia de Havilland, and Clark Gable.


Hattie McDaniel starred with de Havilland and Gable in Gone with the Wind.


Hattie McDaniel ultimately became best known for playing a sassy, opinionated maid.


Hattie McDaniel did not think she would be chosen because she had earned her reputation as a comic actress.


Studio head David O Selznick asked that Hattie McDaniel be permitted to attend, but MGM advised him not to, because of Georgia's segregation laws.


Clark Gable threatened to boycott the Atlanta premiere unless Hattie McDaniel were allowed to attend, but Hattie McDaniel convinced him to attend anyway.


Later, when Hattie McDaniel tried to take her "Mammy" character on a road show, Black audiences did not prove receptive.


Hattie McDaniel earned that gold Oscar by her fine performance of 'Mammy' in Gone with the Wind.


The discrimination continued after the award ceremony as well; her white co-stars went to a "no-Blacks" club, where Hattie McDaniel was denied entry.


Weeks prior to Hattie McDaniel winning her Oscar, there was even more controversy.


Hattie McDaniel was in the same studio's Thank Your Lucky Stars, with Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis.


Hattie McDaniel continued to play maids during the war years for Warners in The Male Animal and United Artists' Since You Went Away, but her feistiness was toned down to reflect the era's somber times.


Hattie McDaniel appeared as a maid in Janie and played the role of "Aunt Tempy", a maid in Song of the South for Disney.


Hattie McDaniel made her last film appearances in Mickey and Family Honeymoon, where that same year, she appeared on the live CBS television program The Ed Wynn Show.


Hattie McDaniel remained active on radio and television in her final years, becoming the first black actor to star in her own radio show with the comedy series Beulah.


Hattie McDaniel starred in the television version of the show, replacing Ethel Waters after the first season.


Hattie McDaniel married Howard Hickman on January 19,1911, in Denver, Colorado.


Hattie McDaniel married James Lloyd Crawford, a real estate salesman, on March 21,1941, in Tucson, Arizona.


Hattie McDaniel began buying baby clothes and set up a nursery in her house.


Hattie McDaniel's plans were shattered when she suffered a false pregnancy and fell into a depression.


Hattie McDaniel divorced Crawford in 1945, after four and a half years of marriage.


Hattie McDaniel married Larry Williams, an interior decorator, on June 11,1949, in Yuma, Arizona, but divorced him in 1950 after testifying that their five months together had been marred by "arguing and fussing".


Hattie McDaniel broke down in tears when she testified that her husband tried to provoke dissension in the cast of her radio show and otherwise interfered with her work.


Hattie McDaniel made numerous personal appearances at military hospitals, threw parties, and performed at United Service Organizations shows and war bond rallies to raise funds to support the war on behalf of the Victory Committee.


Bette Davis was the only white member of Hattie McDaniel's acting troupe to perform for black regiments; Lena Horne and Ethel Waters participated.


Hattie McDaniel joined the actor Clarence Muse, one of the first black members of the Screen Actors Guild, in an NBC radio broadcast to raise funds for Red Cross relief programs for Americans that had been displaced by devastating floods, and she gained a reputation for generosity, lending money to friends and strangers alike.


Hattie McDaniel was released in October to recuperate at home, and was reported on January 3,1951, as showing "slight improvement in her recovery from a mild stroke".


Hattie McDaniel died of breast cancer on October 26,1952, in the hospital of the Motion Picture House in Woodland Hills, California.


Hattie McDaniel had wished to be buried in Hollywood Cemetery, which however had a whites-only policy at the time; she was buried instead in Rosedale Cemetery, her second choice.


In 1999, Hollywood Cemetery offered to have Hattie McDaniel re-interred there, but after her family declined the offer the cemetery erected a cenotaph overlooking its lake.


At the time of her death, Hattie McDaniel would have had few options.


Years later, the Oscar turned up where Hattie McDaniel wanted it to be: Howard University, where, according to reports, it was displayed in a glass case in the university's drama department.


Hattie McDaniel characterized these challenges as class-based biases against domestics, a claim that white columnists seemed to accept.


Hattie McDaniel did not join the Negro Actors Guild of America until 1947, late in her career.


Hattie McDaniel hired one of the few white agents who would represent black actors at the time, William Meiklejohn, to advance her career.


When columnist Hedda Hopper sent her Richard Nixon placards and asked Hattie McDaniel to distribute them, Hattie McDaniel declined, replying she had long ago decided to stay out of politics.


Hattie McDaniel blamed these critics for hindering her career and sought the help of allies of doubtful reputation.


Hattie McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to radio and one at 1719 Vine Street for motion pictures.


In 2002, McDaniel's legacy was celebrated in American Movie Classics's film Beyond Tara, The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel, produced and directed by Madison D Lacy and hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.


Hattie McDaniel was the 29th inductee in the Black Heritage Series by the United States Postal Service.


The ceremony took place at the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where the Hattie McDaniel collection includes photographs of McDaniel and other family members as well as scripts and other documents.


In 2004 Rita Dove, the first black US poet laureate, published her poem "Hattie McDaniel Arrives at the Coconut Grove" in The New Yorker and has since presented it frequently during her poetry readings as well as on YouTube.


In 2010, Mo'Nique, the winner of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Precious, wearing a blue dress and gardenias in her hair, as Hattie McDaniel had at the ceremony in 1940, in her acceptance speech thanked Hattie McDaniel "for enduring all that she had to so that I would not have to".


Hattie McDaniel questioned the sourcing of The Huffington Post stories.


Hattie McDaniel was the most famous of the black homeowners who helped to organize the black Historic West Adams neighborhood residents who saved their homes.


Hattie McDaniel held workshops to strategize for the case and gathered around 250 sympathizers to accompany her to court.


Hattie McDaniel had purchased her white, two-story, seventeen-room house in 1942.