Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mae West: Hattie McDaniel

On 29 February 1940 Hattie McDaniel — — who worked with MAE WEST — — became the first black actor to win an Oscar for her role as Mammy in "Gone with the Wind" [1939].
• • After years as a radio and vaudeville performer, Kansas native Hattie McDaniel [10 June 1895 — 26 October 1952] began her film career in the early 1930s playing bit parts such as Marlene Dietrich's servant in "Blonde Venus" (1932) and one of Mae West's jovial maids in "I'm No Angel" (1933).
• • Hattie McDaniel, who starred in dozens of films and appeared briefly (often uncredited) in hundreds, was also the first black woman to sing on the radio.
• • Hattie McDaniel, who has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was also a professional singer-songwriter, comedienne, stage actress, radio performer, and TV.
• • For her contributions to radio, her star is located at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard; commemorating her achievements in motion pictures is another star at 1719 Vine Street.
• • She had just gotten signed to a TV sit-com "Beulah" when she discovered she had breast cancer. Hattie McDaniel died at age 57 in a California hospital.
• • In 1975 she was posthumously inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
• • In 2006 she became the first black Oscar winner recognized with a US postage stamp — — a permanent postal honor Mae West has yet to receive, unfortunately, in this country.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1933 • •

Mae West.

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