Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 - October 26, 1952) was an African American singer and Hollywood actress, born in Wichita, Kansas. Making her first appearance on film in 1932, she spent much of her 20 year career playing maids, due mainly to the paucity of roles available to black actresses. It was one such role, the part of Mammy in Gone With the Wind, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on February 29, 1940, the first black performer to win an Academy Award.
Hattie McDaniel died on October 26, 1952 and was interred in the Rosedale Cemetery, in Los Angeles, California. It had been her wish to be buried with her fellow movie stars in the Hollywood Forever Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood; however Jack Roth, the cemetery's owner at the time, refused to allow her to be buried there because she was a "negro" and could not be in the same cemetery as "white" people.
In 1999, the new owner of the Hollywood Forever Memorial Park Cemetery wanted to right that wrong. Ms. McDaniel's family did not want to disturb her remains after all this time, so the cemetery did the next best thing and built a memorial to Hattie McDaniel on the lawn overlooking the lake. It is one of the most popular sites for visitors to the cemetery.
Hattie McDaniel has two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Radio at 6933 Hollywood Blvd., and for her contributions to the motion picture industry at 1719 Vine Street.