After her big Oscar win last night for Best Supporting Actress in “Precious,” Mo’Nique made her way backstage where she answered questions and joked around with reporters. When asked what would happen if more actresses stopped shaving their legs like her, Mo’Nique quipped: “They would win Oscars!” Oh, if only it were that easy, I think we’d be seeing lots more hair on the red carpet. Hairy legs or not, Mo’Nique looked beautiful in her royal blue silk jersey Tadashi Shoji gown, a color she chose because it was the color Hattie McDaniel, the first black actress to win an Academy Award (for “Gone With the Wind”), wore to accept her Oscar in the ’40s. Her flower hair clip was also the same flower Hattie donned when she won. Talk about a lucky charm! [via Us Weekly] Keep reading »
The Academy Awards are less than two weeks away, and with that, and Black History Month in mind, we want to remember Hattie McDaniel. McDaniel was an established radio and film actress before she played Mammy in “Gone with the Wind,” but it was this role that made her career and cemented her as a film legend. Her endearing comedy and ability to scold and scoff her white charges earned her a Best Supporting Actress Award, the first given to a black actor. She was also the first black actor to attend the Academy Awards banquet.
Ironically, however, segregation laws prevented her from attending the Atlanta premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on December 15, 1939. And she, like the other black actors, were excluded from the souvenir program. Producer David O. Selznick attempted to bring McDaniel to the premiere, but MGM cautioned against it because Georgia’s segregation laws would have required her to stay in a “blacks only” hotel and she would have had to sit in a segregated part of the theater away from her fellow actors. Clark Gable (Rhett Butler), who McDaniel had befriended while working on another movie, threatened to boycott the premiere unless she was allowed to attend, but she urged him to go anyway. She did, however, attend the Hollywood debut, and her photo was featured in the program upon Selznick’s insistence. Although, McDaniel received the highest recognition for an actor, her career was not without criticism… Keep reading »