Hattie McDaniel was born on June 10, 1895, in Wichita, Kansas, the youngest of thirteen children in a family of performers. Her father, Henry McDaniel, was a Baptist minister, carpenter, banjo player, and minstrel showman, eventually organizing his own family into a minstrel troupe. Henry married a gospel singer named Susan Holbert in 1875 and moved their growing family to Denver, Colorado, in 1901.

Hattie McDaniel’s portrayal of the “mammy” figure in the film Gone with the Wind, for which she received an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1940, is still widely seen as a role that could only have been played by her. She was the first African American to receive an Oscar.
On October 26, 1952, McDaniel died in the hospital at the Motion Picture House in Woodland Hills, California. In her will, she wrote, “I desire a white casket and a white shroud; white gardenias in my hair and in my hands, together with a white gardenia blanket and a pillow of red roses. I also wish to be buried in the Hollywood Cemetery.” At the time, Hollywood Cemetery (final resting place for stars like Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino and her Gone With the Wind director Victor Fleming) wouldn’t allow black people to be buried there. Her second choice was Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, which is where she lies today.

Source:Notable Biographies 

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