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Actress McDaniel with Academy Award: Tribute to her life's work planned


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More than 80 years after the historic Oscar victory of actress Hattie McDaniel (1893 - 1952), the Oscar Academy in Los Angeles is planning a special tribute. In 1940, McDaniel was the first black woman ever to be awarded the trophy for her supporting role as maid Mammy in the epic poem »Gone with the Wind«.

The actress, who died in 1952, had donated the prize to Howard University in Washington, D.C., but the exhibit was later lost. Now the college is to receive a replacement Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced.

A handover ceremony is planned for Oct. 1 to honor McDaniel's life and legacy, it said in a statement. Her great-grandnephew, filmmaker Kevin John Goff, is among the invited guests.

Howard University has an African-American tradition and is predominantly attended by blacks. The trophy goes to the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, named after Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 and studied film directing at the university.

At the 1940 Academy Awards, McDaniel had not won the traditional statue, but a plaque, as was customary from 1936 to 1942 in the supporting role. At the time, however, her Oscar triumph was overshadowed by segregation in the USA. McDaniel was separated from her white film colleagues and assigned to a table in the back of the hotel hall.