Hattie McDaniel

Late Actress Hattie McDaniel’s Missing Oscar Will Be Replaced By The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will honor late actress Hattie McDaniel with a replacement award for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1940.

In 1952, McDaniel’s plaque was left to Howard University following her death, according to HuffPost. The award reportedly went missing sometime in the late ’60s. 

The Academy announced plans to replace the award on September 26. The organization presented McDaniel with a plaque, which was the tradition at the time. Her honor named her as the first Black person to receive an Oscar after winning for her role in “Gone With the Wind.”

“Hattie McDaniel was a groundbreaking artist who changed the course of cinema and impacted generations of performers who followed her,” Stewart and Academy CEO Bill Kramer said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to present a replacement of Hattie McDaniel’s Academy Award to Howard University. This momentous occasion will celebrate Hattie McDaniel’s remarkable craft and historic win,” he continued, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

“Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science[s], fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests,” McDaniel said during her acceptance speech at the 12th Academy Awards in 1940.

“This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of the awards for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel. And may I say thank you and God bless you.”

The actresses’ plaque will be replaced with one of the iconic gold statuettes during Howard University’s “Hattie’s Come Home” ceremony to celebrate her life and legacy at the Ira Aldridge Theater on Oct. 1.

Phylicia Rashad will be present to give remarks at Monday’s event, which will include an excerpt of LaDarrion Williams’ Boulevard of Bold Dreams. Representatives from the Academy and the Academy Museum will also be present to celebrate McDaniel.

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