Arts/Entertainment Spotlights

Arts/Entertainment Spotlights

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Hattie McDaniel


Hattie McDaniel was born to former slaves in 1895 and was the youngest of 13 children. She honed her songwriting skills while working with her brother Sam McDaniel's minstrel show. McDaniel was the first African American actress to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Gone With The Wind" as Mammy. She also acted in many other films and was a professional singer-songwriter, radio performer, television star and comedian. In the early 1920's, she appeared in Melody Hounds, a touring black ensemble and went on to embark on a radio career on station KOA in Denver and during the mid to late 1920's recorded many of her songs on both Okeh and Paramount Records in Chicago. Her first film appearance was as a maid in the 1932 film, "The Golden West". Her second appearance was in a successful Mae West film, "I'm No Angel". McDaniel joined the Screen Actors Guild in 1934 and finally attracted larger film roles. McDaniel died from breast cancer in 1949.

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