Oscar Actors: McDaniel Hattie

Born June 10, 1985 in Wichita, Kansas; died in 1952. The daughter of a Baptist preacher and spiritual-singer wife, McDaniel won a drama medal at 15 and began her professional career as a band vocalist.

She was the first black woman to sing on American radio, and after many shows, starred in “Beulah,” both on radio and on TV.

McDaniel appeared in many films of the 1930s and 1940s, typically as a maid. She is most closely identified with the role of the black mammy in “Gone With the Wind” (1939), for which she won the Supporting Actress Oscar, thus becoming the first black woman to won the coveted statuette.

It was her first and only Oscar nomination. Interestingly, she won over competition from Olivia de Havilland, who was nominated in the same category for playing Melanie in “Gone With the Wind.”