Hattie McDaniel, a famous African American actress, singer, lyricist and a comedian is from Wichita, Kansas, US. She was the youngest child in her family. Hattie’s mom was a gospel singer, and her dad was a musician and was open to doing various things like carpentry for a living with his family. They all shared the passion for music since the early days. Hattie did her elementary education in Denver, Colorado. She was one of the two African- American students who studied in that school. Racial prejudice did exist, but she was very talented and got attention as a great singer. In fact, she was one of the favorites in a school which mostly consisted of white students. She sang and performed at church, school, and many other places. She also started dancing and doing comical plays along with writing some beautiful songs. By 1905, her father became a professional minstrel showman.
After few years, she left school and went to be a full-time minstrel performer, with her dad. Generally, such performances were done by the black people. It was in their cultural way of life which the whites enjoyed a lot. In 1920, her father retired, and she joined Professor George Morrison. She went along with him to perform various shows which also included the very famous "Melody Hounds." She also wrote few songs on her own like "Quitting My Man Today." Later, she got married to George Langford who was killed by gunfire. She did not lose hope and tried to focus on her career. In 1925, she did her very first radio show on Denver's KOA station and was the 1st black women to be on air for an American radio station. In 1938, she got married Howard Hickman and then got divorced. Later, she lost her job because of the great depression.
She traveled to Wisconsin and worked there for a year as a restroom attendant at the Club Madrid. Later, she moved to Hollywood, Los Angeles as her siblings lived there. They did small roles in few motion pictures and also did radio shows where McDaniel got a small part. This was an opportunity for her and she won a lot hearts there with her talent. The show was a big time hit. She got offers in the meantime. In 1934, she was cast for 'Judge Priest' in the Fox production. Later, she also got a chance to sing with Will Rogers. The duet performance gained a lot of appreciations and recognitions. Ever since then, there was no chance of looking back. She played many character roles and was well-known for remarkable performances. With her dedication and talent, she won an Oscar for the role of "Mammy" in the film 'Gone with the Wind' . She was the first black woman to successfully receive an Oscar.
She did guest appearances, tours and also appeared in few other films. In 1941, she again got married to James Crawford and got divorced after four years. She experienced racism; she also accepted the possibility of being thrown out of her own house. Her image was going down as she failed to save her marriage and many also insulted her. Eventually, she went into depression. But Hattie did not give up. She used her vocal talent and did 'The Beulah Show'. Again she was the very first black performer to gain the privilege to star in a CBS radio show which focused on the general audience. Popularity at its peak and renewed success, are what she gained with her "never-give-up" attitude. She eventually got married to Larry Williams which lasted only for seven months due to her medical conditions. She suffered from a heart attack and was then diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, Hattie died on October 26, 1952, at California. She will always be remembered as Mammy from "Gone with the Wind".