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Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952) was born in Wichita, Kansas, into a family that excelled in acting, singing, and dancing. In the 1910s she joined her sister, Etta, and her brothers, Otis and Sam, in the Nate Reese Carnival in Denver. Sam, Etta, and Hattie appeared in hundreds of films in the 1930s. McDaniel arrived in Los Angeles from Chicago in 1931. She was cast as a maid in "I'm No Angel" (1933) and became the quintessential black "mammy" in films such as "Judge Priest" (1934), "Show Boat" (1936), and "Song of the South" (1946). McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award for her supporting role in "Gone with the Wind" (1939).
Samuel R. McDaniel (1886-1962) was born in Columbus, Kansas and became a drummer in a circus band while still a teenager. He later organized the New Orleans Syncopated Jazz Orchestra and worked as a musician, before appearing on stage and in vaudeville as an actor. Among his earliest appearances in film was "Hallelujah!" (1929), though he would not receive screen credit until "The Vanishing Frontier" (1932). He appeared in well over a hundred films during his career, including "Captains Courageous" (1937), "The Great Lie" (1941) and "Double Indemnity" (1944). He also worked extensively in radio and on television.