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Monday, October 25, 1999 Published at 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK


Hollywood's Hattie remembered

Hattie McDaniel receives her Oscar from actress Fay Bainter

The first black star to win an Academy Award will come close to having her final wish granted on Tuesday - nearly 50 years after her death.

Hattie McDaniel won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Mammy in the 1939 epic Gone with the Wind.

She died aged 57 of breast cancer in 1952 and her last wish was to be buried at the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery - the final resting place of Rudolph Valentino, amongst others.

[ image: Winner: Hattie as
Winner: Hattie as "Mammy" in Gone with the Wind
However, when she died the Los Angeles cemetery did not take blacks and she was buried at Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery instead.

Now, the new owners of the cemetery, which was renamed Hollywood Forever, are unveiling a memorial to recognise McDaniel.

On Tuesday, the 47th anniversary of her death, they will place a grey and pink granite monument next to a lake at the cemetery in view of the landmark Hollywood sign.

"There was so much that was done wrong here," said Tyler Cassity, who bought the cemetery in 1998.

Pioneering actress

Hattie McDaniel was one of America's greatest character actresses with a career that spanned radio, TV and movies.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, on 10 June 1895, she dropped out of school in 1910 to join a minstrel show.

She made her film debut in 1932, winning her first major role in 1934's Judge Priest, in which she sang a duet with Will Rogers.

Her other major movie credits included Show Boat (1936), They Died with their Boots On (1941) ,Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) and Song of the South (1946).

McDaniel, who was married four times, was also a regular on the long-running radio series, The Beulah Show, which started in 1947 and transferred to TV in 1951. She stayed with the show until her death.

McDaniel's Oscar for Gone with the Wind was one of eight won by the film.

The other acting Academy Award went to Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O'Hara) - nominees Clark Gable and Olivia De Havilland missed out on the big night.

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American Film Institute - Hattie McDaniel

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