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Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) was an American stage actress, professional singer-songwriter, and comedian. The only evidence of an ongoing, committed, intimate relationship in McDaniel's life is with another woman, journalist Ruby Goodwin. McDaniel's letters to Goodwin reveal a deep, loving commitment. She may not have moved among Hollywood's white lesbian set, the racial lines in the film colony were far more rigid than the sexual ones, yet Marlene Dietrich did call McDaniel a friend to the press, fueling rumors among the subculture of an affair.
McDaniel is best known for her role as "Mammy" in Gone with the Wind (1939), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first Academy Award won by an African American entertainer. She has been romantically linked to Tallulah Bankhead. Hollywood is an American drama web television miniseries about a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers during the Hollywood Golden Age in the post-World War II era trying to make their dreams come true. Queen Latifah as Hattie McDaniel is a fictionalized version of the actress who gives Camille, the main character, advice. McDaniel is portraied as having an ongoing friends with benefits relationship with Tallulah Bankhead.
In addition to acting in many films, McDaniel 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 80 or so.
McDaniel 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.
McDaniel, “a discreet bisexual who counted Alabama-born Broadway and film star Tallulah Bankhead among her lovers,” was treated with gross disrespect during a time when segregation and racism flourished in Hollywood and Los Angeles.
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