Hattie McDaniel is the legendary star who won Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for playing Mammy in “Gone with the Wind.”
She died in the 1950s and left her Oscar statue to Howard University. Over time in the 60s it disappeared.
Now the Academy will deliver a replacement statue to Howard on October 1st in a special ceremony headed by Phylicia Rashad.
McDaniels’ experience with the Oscars in 1939 left a lot to be desired. She was seated, shamefully, in the back of the auditorium, apart from the other nominees. She would be the only Black actress to win an Oscar until Halle Berry in 2002.
“When I was a student in the College of Fine Arts at Howard University, in what was then called the Department of Drama, I would often sit and gaze in wonder at the Academy Award that had been presented to Ms. Hattie McDaniel, which she had gifted to the College of Fine Arts,” said Rashad. “I am overjoyed that this Academy Award is returning to what is now the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University. This immense piece of history will be back in the College of Fine Arts for our students to draw inspiration from. Ms. Hattie is coming home!”
Back in 1939, McDaniel only received a plaque, not a statue, which was customary for Supporting Actors. Now she will shine with a real statuette.
Bravo to the Academy!