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1 item from 2016

Hattie McDaniel: Hollywood’s Beloved, Controversial Trailblazer

10 June 2016 8:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

June 10 would have been the birthday of Hattie McDaniel, the memorable Oscar winner for “Gone With the Wind” and a Hollywood trailblazer who is remembered with both affection and a little ambivalence.

She was born in Wichita, Kans., in 1895, the youngest of 13 children of two former slaves. Five years later, the family moved to Colorado, where she made her debut on the relatively new medium of radio. She is credited as being the first black woman to sing on the radio, thanks to her gig at age 17 in Denver. She sometimes performed as “Hi-Hat Hattie” and continued singing and doing comedy on radio, in nightclubs and in vaudeville.

She came to Hollywood while in her 30s and appeared uncredited in several works. But the studios took notice with her small but fun role in 1933’s “I’m No Angel,” playing one of Mae West’s maids.

McDaniel was first mentioned »

- Tim Gray

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