Hattie McDaniel

Actresses

Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1893 – October 26, 1952) was an American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedian. She is best known for her role as “Mammy” in Victor Fleming‘s Gone with the Wind (1939), starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, and Olivia de Havilland; for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first African American to win an Oscar. In addition to acting in many films, McDaniel recorded 16 blues sides between 1926–1929 (10 were issued), was a radio performer and television star; she was the first black woman to sing on radio in the United States. She appeared in over 300 films, although she received screen credits for only 83. Other notable directors she worked with included James Whale, John Ford, Lloyd Bacon, Josef von Sternberg, Mack Sennett, Erich von Stroheim, William Keighley, George Marshall, Wesley Ruggles, Norman Taurog, Henry King, John Huston, King Vidor, and Michael Curtiz.

Other actors and actresses she worked with included Lew Ayers, Mae Clark, Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant, Mae West, Charles Ruggles, Will Rogers, Claudette Colbert, William Cagney, Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell, Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Bela Lugosi, Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart. Ray Milland, Irene Dunne, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Carole Lombard, Fredric March, John Barrymore, Ginger Rogers, Margaret Sullivan, Walter Pidgeon, Fred Astaire, Henry Fonda, Joan Crawford, Margaret Sullavan, Oliver Hardy, Walter Brennan, Bette Davis, George Brent, Mary Astor, Merle Oberon, Dennis Morgan, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn, Joan Leslie, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Jeanne Crain, Eleanor Parker, James Baskett, and Mickey Rooney.

McDaniel made her last film appearances in Family Honeymoon (1949) and The Big Wheel (1949), where that same year, she appeared on the live CBS television program The Ed Wynn Show. She remained active on radio and television in her final years, becoming the first black actor to star in her own radio show with the comedy series Beulah. She also starred in the television version of the show, replacing Ethel Waters after the first season. (Waters had apparently expressed concerns over stereotypes in the role.) Beulah was a hit, and earned McDaniel $2,000 per week; although, the show was controversial, due to certain stereotypes of the time. After filming a handful of episodes, McDaniel learned she had breast cancer. By the spring of 1952, she was too ill to work and was replaced by Louise Beavers. She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood: one at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to radio and one at 1719 Vine Street for acting in motion pictures. In 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and in 2006 became the first black Oscar winner honored with a US postage stamp. In 2010, she was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Impatient Maiden (1932) – directed by James Whale – uncredited
  • Are You Listening? (1932) – directed by Harry Beaumont – uncredited
  • The Washington Masquerade (1932) – directed by Charles Brabin – uncredited
  • The Boiling Point (1932) – directed by George Melford – uncredited
  • Crooner (1932) – directed by Lloyd Bacon – uncredited
  • Blonde Venus (1932) – directed by Josef von Sternberg – uncredited
  • The Golden West (1932) – directed by David Howard – uncredited
  • Hypnotized (1932) – directed by Mack Sennett – uncredited
  • Hello, Sister (1933) – directed by Erich von Stroheim, Raoul Walsh, & Alfred L. Werker (originally all uncredited) – uncredited
  • I’m No Angel (1933) – directed by Wesley Ruggles – uncredited
  • Goodbye Love (1933) – directed by H. Bruce Humberstone – uncredited
  • Mickey’s Rescue (1934) – directed by James Duffy – short – uncredited
  • Merry Wives of Reno (1934) – directed by H. Bruce Humberstone – uncredited
  • City Park (1934) – directed by Richard Thorpe – uncredited
  • Operator 13 (1934) – directed by Richard Boleslawski – uncredited
  • Judge Priest (1934) – directed by John Ford
  • King Kelly of the U.S.A. (1934) – directed by Leonard Fields – uncredited
  • Imitation of Life (1934) – directed by John M. Stahl – uncredited
  • Flirtation (1934) – directed by Leo Birinsky – uncredited
  • Lost in the Stratosphere (1934) – directed by Melville W. Brown
  • Fate’s Fathead (1934) – directed by Charley Chase (as Charley Parrott) – short – uncredited
  • Babbitt (1934) – directed by William Keighley – uncredited
  • Little Men (1934) – directed by Phil Rosen – uncredited
  • The Chases of Pimple Street (1934) – directed by Charley Chase (as Charley Parrott) – short – uncredited
  • Anniversary Trouble (1935) – directed by Gus Meins – short – uncredited
  • Okay, Toots! (1935) – directed by Charley Chase (as Charley Parrott) & William Terhune – short – uncredited
  • The Little Colonel (1935) – directed by David Butler
  • Transient Lady (1935) – directed by Edward Buzzell – uncredited
  • Traveling Saleslady (1935) – directed by Ray Enright – uncredited
  • Wig-Wig (1935) – directed by Sam White – short – uncredited
  • The Four Star Boarder (1935) – directed by Charley Chase (as Charley Parrott) – short – uncredited
  • China Seas (1935) – directed by Tay Garnett – uncredited
  • Alice Adams (1935) – directed by George Stevens
  • Harmony Lane (1935) – directed by Joseph Stanley – uncredited
  • Murder by Television (1935) – Clifford Sanforth
  • Music Is Magic (1935) – directed by George Marshall
  • Another Face (1935) – directed by Christy Cabanne – uncredited
  • We’re Only Human (1935) – directed by James Flood – uncredited
  • Next Time We Love (1936) – directed by Edward H. Griffith – uncredited
  • The First Baby (1936) – directed by Lewis Seiler
  • The Singing Kid (1936) – directed by William Keighley – uncredited
  • Gentle Julia (1936) – directed by John G. Blystone
  • Arbor Day (1036) – Fred Newmeyer – short – uncredited
  • Show Boat (1936) – directed by James Whale
  • High Tension (1936) – directed by Allan Dwan
  • The Bride Walks Out (1936) – directed by Leigh Jason
  • Postal Inspector (1936) – directed by Otto Brower – uncredited
  • Star for a Night (1936) – directed by Lewis Seiler
  • Valiant Is the Word for Carrie (1936) – directed by Wesley Ruggles
  • Libeled Lady (1936) – directed by Jack Conway – uncredited
  • Can This Be Dixie? (1936) – directed by George Marshall
  • Reunion (1936) – directed by Norman Taurog
  • Racing Lady (1937) – directed by Wallace Fox
  • Don’t Tell the Wife (1937) – directed by Christy Cabanne – uncredited
  • The Crime Nobody Saw (1937) – directed by Charles Barton
  • The Wildcatter (1937) – directed by Lewis D. Collins – uncredited
  • Saratoga (1937) – directed by Jack Conway
  • Stella Dallas (1937) – directed by King Vidor
  • Sky Racket (1937) – directed by Sam Katzman
  • Over the Goal (1937) – directed by Noel M. Smith
  • Merry Go Round of 1938 (1937) – directed by Irving Cummings – uncredited
  • Nothing Sacred (1937) – directed by William A. Wellman – uncredited
  • 45 Fathers (1937) – directed by James Tinling
  • Quick Money (1937) – directed by Edward Killy – uncredited
  • True Confession (1937) – directed by Wesley Ruggles
  • Mississippi Moods (1937) – directed by Leslie Goodwin
  • Battle of Broadway (1938) – directed by George Marshall & Allan Dwan (uncredited)
  • Vivacious Lady (1938) – directed by George Stevens – uncredited
  • The Shopworn Angel (1938) – directed by H.C. Potter
  • Carefree (1938) – directed by Mark Sandrich – uncredited
  • The Mad Miss Manton (1938) – directed by Leigh Jason
  • The Shining Hour (1938) – directed by Frank Borzage
  • Everybody’s Baby (1939) – directed by Malcolm St. Clair
  • Zenobia (1939) – directed by Gordon Douglas
  • Gone with the Wind (1939)** – directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor (uncredited, original director), & Sam Wood (uncredited, took over some when Fleming became ill from exhaustion)
  • Maryland (1940) – directed by Henry King
  • The Great Lie (1941) – directed by Edmund Goulding
  • Affectionately Yours (1941) – directed by Lloyd Bacon
  • They Died with Their Boots On (1941) – directed by Raoul Walsh
  • The Male Animal (1942) – directed by Elliott Nugent
  • In This Our Life (1942) – directed by John Huston
  • George Washington Slept Here (1942) – directed by William Keighley
  • Johnny Come Lately (1943) – directed by William K. Howard
  • Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) – directed by David Butler
  • Since You Went Away (1944) – directed by John Cromwell
  • Janie (1944) – directed by Michael Curtiz
  • Three Is a Family (1944) – directed by Edward Ludwig
  • Hi, Beautiful (1944) – directed by Leslie Goodwins
  • Janie Gets Married (1946) – directed by Vincent Sherman
  • Margie (1946) – directed by Henry King
  • Never Say Goodbye (1946) – directed by James V. Kern
  • Song of the South (1946) – directed by Harve Foster (live action) & Wilfred Jackson (animation)
  • The Flame (1947) – directed by John H. Auer
  • Mickey (1948) – directed by Ralph Murphy
  • Family Honeymoon (1949) – directed by Claude Binyon
  • The Big Wheel (1949) – directed by Edward Ludwig