Hattie McDaniel Net Worth
Hattie McDaniel was an American actress and singer best known as being the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Esther in 1939 film Gone with the Wind. McDaniel also distinguished herself as stage actress, radio star, television performer, civil rights activist, stage performer as well as one of the most influential black entertainers of her time. She remains widely revered as one of its foremost pioneers.
Hattie McDaniel was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1895 to two emancipated slaves who had recently received their freedom. At an early age she showed an aptitude for singing and poetry recitation; her mother attempted to silence her by offering spare change bribes; however Hattie refused and went on to become a popular performer and star.
Hattie began singing with George Morrison’s Melody Hounds of Denver in 1925. By late 1930s she had relocated to Los Angeles where her brother Sam hosted radio programs; his radio show introduced Hattie to KNX show The Optimistic Do-Nuts where she quickly become a hit.
Off the screen, she struggled with racism. As an outspoken advocate for civil rights she gave speeches and organized fundraisers on these causes; eventually winning out when the United States Supreme Court declared segregation unconstitutional in 1948; additionally she became the first black woman buried at Hollywood Cemetery – previously reserved solely for white people at that time.
Though successful, Hattie McDaniel experienced many personal tragedies throughout her life – such as miscarrying which cost her both her career and home; legal battle with Los Angeles over land ownership restrictions for blacks; breast cancer that claimed her life at only 57.
Hattie McDaniel was an extraordinary actress who appeared in over 300 films but only garnered on-screen credits for 83. She made history when she won an Academy Award for Gone with the Wind and earned herself a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hattie was well loved in her community due to her generosity, elegance, and charm; and will long be remembered fondly.
Hattie McDaniel had to endure tremendous prejudice during her film industry career and had to use an alternate entrance at the Atlanta premiere of Gone with the Wind due to segregation laws enforcing segregation policies in that city. Hattie McDaniel sat at an individual table during the Oscars ceremony and had to request special permission as she is black woman. Hattie McDaniel made history when she became the first black actor featured as a character on an US stamp. US Postal Service’s Black Heritage series issued stamps with Whoopi Goldberg’s image for Ghost (1990), Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball (2001), Jennifer Hudson and Mo’Nique from Dreamgirls (2011) and Octavia Spencer from The Help (2016) as part of this collection of commemorative postage stamps in 2006.