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Hattie McDaniel
Birth: Jun. 10, 1895
Wichita
Sedgwick County
Kansas, USA
Death: Oct. 26, 1952
Woodland Hills
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Actress. She made Hollywood history as the first African-American to win an Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actress in "Gone With the Wind" (1939). The daughter of a Civil War veteran from Wichita, Kansas, she started out as a band vocalist and made her screen debut in 1932. Stout and matronly, with a deep and slightly gravelly voice, she was sadly typecast from the beginning as a maid or mammy. But she strove to bring dignity, intelligence, and even hints of dissent to those parts, and through sheer presence managed to steal every scene she was in. As Mammy in "Gone With the Wind" she was a genius of common sense, providing the film with its voice of reason. "She's one person whose respect I'd like to have", muses Clark Gable's Rhett Butler, and the moral authority McDaniel gave the character leaves us no reason to doubt him. She richly deserved the Oscar she won for her performance. Her nearly 100 other films include "Blonde Venus" (1932), "I'm No Angel" (1933), "Judge Priest" (1934), "Babbitt" (1934), "The Little Colonel" (1935), "Alice Adams" (1935), "Show Boat" (1936), "Stella Dallas" (1937), "Nothing Sacred" (1937), "They Died with Their Boots On" (1941), "In This Our Life" (1942), "Since You Went Away" (1944), and "Song of the South" (1946). McDaniel's fame made her a lightning rod for controversy. Some black critics felt her superior acting ability transcended the role she had to play again and again, while others (notably the NAACP) accused her of reinforcing negative stereotypes. Not that she had many options in the matter. As McDaniel ruefully quipped, "I'd rather play a maid for $700 a week than be one for $7 a week". And her "Gone With the Wind" triumph did nothing to shield her from the segregationist attitudes of her time. (She was not allowed to attend the film's Atlanta premiere, and at the Academy Award ceremony she and her husband had to sit in the back of the room, at a table just for them). Despite the sinful limits placed on her life and her talent, McDaniel did blaze a few trails. In 1945 she helped organize a class-action lawsuit against housing discrimination in her Los Angeles neighborhood; the case went to the U. S. Supreme Court, and race-based restrictions on owning property were ruled unconstitutional. She was the first black woman to sing on American radio (in 1931) and the first to star in her own radio and television series, "Beulah" (1947 to 1952). When McDaniel died of breast cancer at 57, 3000 mourners attended the funeral and 125 limousines accompanied her body to Rosedale. Racism literally dogged her to the grave. McDaniel's dying wish, to be buried at Hollywood Memorial Park, was denied because at the time that cemetery did not permit burials for African-Americans. In 1999, a memorial cenotaph for the actress was finally placed there by McDaniel's relatives and by Tyler Cassity, owner of the now-renamed Hollywood Forever cemetery. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 

Cause of death: Breast cancer
 
Burial:
Hollywood Forever Cemetery *
Hollywood
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of Legends (formerly Section 8), south of lake
GPS (lat/lon): 34.08833, -118.31758
*Cenotaph [?]
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 26, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 7101
Hattie McDaniel
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Hattie McDaniel
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Hattie McDaniel
Added by: Jim Tipton
 
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Forever a bright *****STAR*****
- Little_Storm
 Added: Dec. 17, 2014
God love you. You no longer have to sat at the back of the bus or room. Miss Hattie, please, move to the front as you so richly deserve.
- Catarina
 Added: Dec. 9, 2014

-Anonymous
 Added: Oct. 27, 2014
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