Hattie McDaniel (Getty Images / Washington Post)
Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for playing the beloved housekeeper in Gone with the Wind, becoming the first African-American to win an Oscar. She appeared in approximately 300 films during her career and was also an accomplished singer, songwriter, comedian and star of radio and television, who became the first African-American to sing on U.S. radio. We remember McDaniel's remarkable life today, as well as the lives and legacies of other notable figures who died on this day in history.
Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.
2012: Natina Reed, U.S. rapper and singer who was a member of the rhythm and blues group Blaque, dies at 32 after being hit by a car while crossing a street.
Reed was the rapping member of the 1990s female singing group Blaque, which had hits "808" and "Bring It All to Me." She was also an actress, appearing in the 2000 hit movie Bring it On, which also featured Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union. Read more
2012: Alan Kirschenbaum, U.S. television producer and writer who co-created the sitcom Yes, Dear and was a writer for Everyone Loves Raymond, dies at 51.
2007: Friedman Paul Erhardt, German-born U.S. television cook known as "Chef Tell," dies at 63.
Erhardt's jolly personality, thick German accent and wit made him a fixture on TV shows such as Regis and Kathie Lee and comedy skits on Saturday Night Live, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He also was said to be the inspiration for the Swedish chef on The Muppet Show. Read more
1999: Hoyt Axton, U.S. folk music singer-songwriter and actor who wrote the song "Joy to the World," performed by Three Dog Night, dies of a heart attack at 61.
1994: Wilbert Harrison, U.S. rhythm and blues singer who had a No. 1 hit record in 1959 with "Kansas City," dies at 65.
1984: Sue Randall, U.S. actress who played the teacher Miss Landers in television's Leave It to Beaver, dies at 49.
1962: Louise Beavers, U.S. actress who starred in the movie Imitation of Life and was on The Danny Thomas Show, dies at 60.
1957: Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer and author of Zorba the Greek, dies at 74.
1952: Hattie McDaniel, U.S. actress and the first African-American to win an Academy Award, dies at 57.
McDaniel made history as the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award, for her performance as Gone With the Wind’s Mammy. Her speech was heartbreakingly emotional, as she couldn't hold back tears for long after saying, "My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel." It was a watershed moment for the movie business and for actors of color everywhere. And yet, for many fans, the true heartbreak was in the fact that McDaniel had to return to her segregated table for two after accepting the highest honor in her profession. Read more
1931: Charles Comiskey, U.S. Major League Baseball player and longtime owner of the Chicago White Sox, dies at 72.
1902: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, U.S. women's rights activist, dies at 86.
1890: Carlo Collodi, Italian children's writer and creator of Pinocchio, dies at 63.