June 10, 1895 ~ October 26, 1952 Hattie McDaniel
Hattie McDaniel deserves every bit of love we could give her. Awarded an Oscar for her role as Mammy in Gone with The Wind in 1939, Hattie was actually unable to attend the Atlanta premiere because of Georgia’s strict segregation laws. And while GWTW has been accused, and rightly so, of false portrayal of blacks in the south during a very critical time, it allowed the greater stride of awarding the first Oscar to a black performer. Though Hattie was never given range in her acting, and quite often played someone’s maid, she played each role to perfection. And this during a time when blacks were finding, and sometimes not, their place in Hollywood. This is another case, I think, where no one could have done better. Happy Birthday Hattie!