Academy Awards to replace Hattie McDaniel's historic lost Oscar

The Academy Award has been lost for decades. Now, Howard University is planning to celebrate its replacement.
Hattie McDaniel, left, was given the Motion Picture Academy award.
Posted at 8:27 PM, Sep 27, 2023

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it will now replace a long lost Oscar awarded to Hattie McDaniel during the 12th Academy Awards in 1940 for best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in "Gone With the Wind."

At the time, the plaque which McDaniel won was typical for supporting role wins, while the more famous statuette award was reserved for leading roles. 

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McDaniel became the first Black actor to win a competitive Academy Award for acting. That didn't happen again until decades later. 

McDaniel said during the ceremony, "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, she said. "I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry."

Howard University says the award will go to its Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, celebrating the replacement during a ceremony titled "Hattie's Come Home," which will be held at the start of December in Washington, D.C.

Phylicia Rashad, the dean of the College of Fine Arts, is expected to deliver the opening remarks for the celebration. 

McDaniel, who died in 1952 from breast cancer, had asked that her original award be donated to Howard University. It then later went missing for years, and the mystery grew about how it seemingly disappeared.