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20 August 2013

Hattie McDaniel (20 August SUTS)

hattie mcdanielThis post is written in conjunction with the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and Scribe Hard on Film. Full listings for SUTS programming on Turner Classic Movies can be found HERE.

"We all respect sincerity in our friends and acquaintances, but Hollywood is willing to pay for it."
"You can best fight any existing evil from the inside."
"A woman's gifts will make room for her."

"Every actor and actress is possessed of the absorbing passion to create something distinctive and unique."

"Faith is the black person's federal reserve system."

"I'm letting no man handle my bank account."

"It sure looks good to see an honest-to-goodness audience after looking at you all for so long from the silver screen."

"In playing the part of Mammy, I tried to make her a living, breathing character, the way she appeared to me in the book."

"There was an opportunity to glorify Negro womanhood."
Gone With The Wind
"Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn't, I'd be making $7 a week being one."

mcdaniel oscar"Putting a little time aside for clean fun and good humor is very necessary to relieve the tensions of our time."

"The entire race is usually judged by the actions of one man or woman."

"When you ask me not to play the parts, what have you got to offer in return?"

"If I am proud at all, I am proud of the fact that Hattie McDaniel has been able to add something which I hope will be a lasting credit to our race."

"When I was little, my mother taught me how to use a fork and knife. The trouble is that Mother forget to teach me how to stop using them!"
Hattie McDaniel Must-See: ALICE ADAMS (1935)

McDaniel has a juicy, though small, role as the temporary hired help social climber Alice (Katharine Hepburn) employs for a dinner she is hosting to impress a potential beau. In an otherwise depressing movie, McDaniel's portrayal of the slovenly, careless Malena provides some light relief, even though her poor cooking skills practically ruin the entire evening. Four years before GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), McDaniel's performance in a film with stars like Katharine Hepburn and Fred MacMurray, directed by George Stevens, gave the actress great exposure to the general public, though her success in the film angered many Southern white audiences.

alice adams
If you didn't already know, Hattie McDaniel is also in GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) as Scarlett's (Vivien Leigh) Mammy. She one the first ever Oscar given to an African American for her performance. Here is her heart-warming Oscar acceptance speech.


  1. This is my favourite Hattie McDaniel quote: "Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn't, I'd be making $7 a week being one."

    It's always a treat to see her in a movie, isn't it? She makes each film better, just by her presence.

  2. Love Hattie. Thanks again for a great post.


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