Q: On January 25, 2006, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 39-cent commemorative stamp in Beverly Hills, California. The stamp honored a famous Kansan -- a character actress, singer and performer on radio, TV and on the Silver Screen. What's the name of this Academy-Award-winning Kansas actress?
A: Hattie McDaniel
On January 25, 2006, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 39-cent Hattie McDaniel commemorative stamp in Beverly Hills, California. The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland. This issue, the 29th stamp in the Black Heritage Series, honors Hattie McDaniel, a Kansas-born character actress, singer, songwriter and performer on radio, TV and film. Her role in the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind made McDaniel the first African American to win an Academy Award.
Based on a 1941 photograph, the U.S. postage stamp of McDaniel features a portrait of her by Tim O'Brien of Brooklyn, New York. The image portrays McDaniel in the dress she wore on February 29, 1940, when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Hattie McDaniel was born to former slaves on June 10, 1895 in Wichita, Kansas. Her father fought for the Union Army during the American Civil War. She was the youngest of 13 children. McDaniel died in Los Angeles in 1952 at the age of 59.
Fun factoid: McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for her contributions to radio and one for motion pictures.
Factoid number 2: The whereabouts of McDaniel's Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind are currently unknown. The plaque-like award (standard at the time for Best Supporting Actress) seems to have disappeared in the 1960s.
Visit KPR's online Kansas Trivia trove for more interesting tidbits about this amazing place we call Kansas.