Known for her broad smile, ample proportions, and ebullient manner, the actress appeared in over 300 films during the 1930s and 1940s, almost without exception in the character of maid or cook, a role with which she became so identified after the success of Gone with the Wind that many of her fans and friends took to calling her Mammy. Although her screen image was permanently linked to a now outdated stereotype, McDaniel could still use her vocal talent on radio. Amsterdam News New York , November 19, 1949; November 1, 1952; April 28, 1979, p. Off-screen, Howard was nothing like the man of high integrity he played in the movie. Village Voice, May 5, 1975. In 1931, Hattie finally made her way to Los Angeles, where she actively sought for roles to play in movies. The Blonde Venus, Paramount Publix, 1932.
When Howard University's Department of Theater Arts asked if McDaniel's could be replicated in 2006, Academy executive director Bruce Davis wrote back to say there was concern about setting a precedent replacing an award for a 'non-winner holder. If you're a fan of Hattie McDaniel or interested in the challenges black actors and actresses faced in early Hollywood, I suggest you add this fascinating book to your library. She was one of several black entertainers who challenged the racist system in court, however, and won. No clue, but this lady made the movie. Village Voice, May 5, 1975. In 1939 when Gone With The Wind was released, Olivia had been dating actor Jimmy Stewart who accompanied her to the 1939 New York City premiere of Gone With The Wind. McDaniel died in Hollywood, California, on October 26, 1952.
It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. In his will, it was discovered that Leslie Howard had left his Beverly Hills mansion to his recently deceased lover, not having enough time to make changes before his own untimely death. Sam and Etta McDaniel had already played small roles in a number of motion pictures. Her career struggles are documented, as well as the successes she achieved along the way. Our World Magazine, February 1952. Winners have included Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Louis Gossett Jr.
Inevitably, McDaniel found her screen opportunities drying up even as she suffered insults from progressive blacks, and after her third marriage ended in divorce in 1945, she became increasingly depressed and confused as to her proper path. Around 1920 McDaniel came to the notice of George Morrison, one of Denver's notable popular musicians. In 1945, while attending a party at David O. Won Oscar for Gone with the Wind Once established in Hollywood, McDaniel found no shortage of work. In 1929, the booking organization for whom she was working went bankrupt at the onset of the , stranding McDaniel in Chicago with little money and no job. The shows presented a variety of entertainment that poked fun at black cultural life for the enjoyment of mostly white audiences.
I have two kids, one for each of my degrees, and a husband I got during a scam. Our World Magazine, February 1952. Following a short-lived marriage to Howard Hickman, McDaniel found herself in several unsatisfying and brief relationships. By 1931, she was a popular enough performer to travel to Los Angeles, California, and try her luck in Hollywood. McDaniel's last marriage, to an interior decorator named Larry Williams, lasted only a few months. Jackson, Carlton, Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel, Madison Books, 1990. Next she went to Hollywood, California, where her brother and sister lived.
McDaniel landed her first movie role in 1931 as an extra in the chorus scenes of a routine Hollywood musical. Other Black celebrities like jazz singer Ethel Waters and actress Louise Beavers moved there too. In this picture McDaniel was given the opportunity to sing a duet with 1879 —1935 , the well-known American humorist. Next she went to Hollywood, California, where her brother and sister lived. By the time she appeared in Gone with the Wind, McDaniel had broadened her portrait of the Mammy role, endowing the character with an earthy, all-knowing sensibility and delivering her lines with saucy self-assurance.
This contract became null and void when Selznick International Pictures was dissolved in 1940. But the mid-1940s brought trying times for McDaniel, who experienced a heart-wrenching false pregnancy in 1944 and soon after became the victim of racist-inspired legal problems. For the decade as a whole, her performances numbered about forty —nearly all of them in the role of maid or cook to a household of whites. Her performance was well received by the press and her fellow actors alike. For the decade as a whole her performances numbered about forty —nearly all of them in the role of maid or cook to a white household. Selznick's 1939 production of Gone with the Wind, adapted from Margaret Mitchell's bestselling novel of the same name. But the competition was heavy: it was rumored that Eleanor Roosevelt had written to producer David O.
Hattie McDaniel's 1939 portrayal of Mammy in set the screen image of the loyal black maid serving a household of well-to-do white people. Although she continued to appear in films regularly, the 1940s were difficult years for her, especially in her personal relationships. She was also the first black woman to sing on radio in the United States. In the early days of Hollywood, African Americans - and the occasional white person with a 'blacked up' face - were portrayed as little more than subservient employees. McDaniel also was dragged into a legal battle over a discriminatory Los Angeles law restricting home ownership rights for Blacks. It so impressed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that she was awarded the 1940 Oscar for best supporting actress, the first ever won by an African American. McDaniel's Oscar vanished four decades ago but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences still refuses to replace it despite pleas from historians McDaniel's bequeathed her Oscar, which was a small plaque rather than the tall gold statue of today, to the historically black Howard University in Washington D.
Some film historians say McDanield was bisexual and a member of the secretive Sewing Circle, a group of Hollywood lesbians and bisexual actresses who often met at the house of actress Dolores Del Rio. The first film for which she received screen credit was Blonde Venus 1932 , in which she played the affectionate, loyal, but willful domestic, a type character that was virtually the only role available at the time to large black women in Hollywood. It took another 25 years after McDaniel made history for a second African American - Sidney Poitier - to win an Oscar and it was half-a-century before Whoopi Goldberg became the next black woman to win for 1990's Ghost. Eventually she became a performer there and remained at the Club Madrid for about a year. McDaniel was one of thirteen children.
The Little Colonel, Fox, 1935. For her talents as a singer and reciter of poetry, McDaniel became something of a favorite at the 24th Street Elementary School, where mainly white students attended. Still, throughout the 1940s, a growing number of activists viewed McDaniel and all she represented as a detriment to the budding fight for. McDaniel was one of the first black women to be heard on American radio, the medium in which she would always remain most comfortable. Still, throughout the 1940s, a growing number of activists viewed McDaniel and all she represented as a detriment to the budding fight for.