Hattie McDaniel Biography
(Actress and Comedian Best Known for Her Role as ‘Mammy’ in the Film ‘Gone with the Wind’)
Birthday: June 10, 1893 (Gemini)
Born In: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Hattie McDaniel was an African American actress, singer and radio performer. She had the distinction of becoming the first African American actor to receive an Oscar for her supporting character as “Mammy” in the movie “Gone with the Wind” in 1940. Her singing talents were discovered early, and she started to sing and perform professionally while she was in school. Later she joined her elder brother’s troupe and worked with George Morrison’s orchestra. Her work with the vaudeville troupes earned her a position to work with the radio station in Denver. Even after establishing herself as a blues artist, it was difficult for Hattie to sustain herself. Persuaded by her siblings she moved to Los Angles in the lure of the tinsel town. Hattie landed with minor roles in movies, as it was difficult for African-Americans to get good roles in movies. But, Hattie had the acting prowess and soon she started getting meatier roles, eventually landing in the epic saga ‘Gone with the Wind’. In her later career, she faced criticism about featuring in stereotypical roles meant for the colored people like servants and slaves. But, Hattie defended her choice stating that the roles were much more than what meets the eye, and used her talent as an actor and singer to break the racial stereotypes rather than criticizing them.