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The Extraordinary Acting Career of Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel was born in 1893 in Wichita Kansas, she was the 13th children born to Susan Holbert, a homemaker & Henry McDaniel, a Civil War Veteran who suffered long term injuries from his service.

In 1901 the family moved to Denver Colorado & she was one two Black students in her class. Her natural talent for singing gained her much popularity amongst her classmates, church, & community. By the 1920s she was performing in vaudeville shows and an orchestra. Arpund 1925 she was invited to sing on KOA, Denver's radio station. This gave her the title of the first Black Woman to sing on American Radio.

Hattie began writing her own work & continued to perform on the circuit. Her big break came in 1929 while working as a bathroom attendent at Sam's Pick Suburban Inn in Milwaukee. The owner gave her a gig as a vocalist performing on the stage at that establishment.

In 1930, she & her sister moved to LA & were able to procure minor movie roles. She continued to gain steady minor roles in movies. To some in the Black Community she was a pioneer, others did not feel the same way as she would take the stereotypical roles of a cook or maid.

Throughout her early acting career she became good friends with Clark Gable & other big Hollywood names.