There’s a new biopic currently in development on Hattie McDaniel, reports Variety. McDaniel is best known for her role as “Mammy” in Gone With the Wind, and for being the first African-American to win an Academy Award in 1939.
The movie will be produced by Alysia Allen and Aaron Magnani who reportedly obtained the rights to the biography: Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood by Jill Watts. McDaniel was born to freed slaves and started performing in radio and vaudeville before playing Mammy, a housemaid.
McDaniel won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Gone With the Wind. In 1964, Sidney Poitier won Best Actor for his role in Lilies in the Field, and Whoopi Goldberg won Best Supporting Actress in 1991 for her part in Ghost alongside Patrick Swayze.
Nonetheless, it’s safe to say McDaniel paved the way for another generation of black actresses and actors to achieve major Hollywood accolades. In 2010, Mo’Nique won that same Oscar for her role in Precious. And she thanked McDaniel during her acceptance speech “for enduring all that she had to so that I would not have to,” according to Rolling Stone.