Hollywood granted a long-delayed wish to Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Oscar. Nearly 60 years after she won the award for best supporting actress, and nearly 50 years after her death.
When she died from breast cancer in 1952, her final request was simple: to be buried at the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, alongside the stars of her time — Rudolph Valentino, Jayne Mansfield and John Houston. That request was denied because McDaniel was black, and non-whites were not allowed to be buried there. After 1959, owners of the cemetery changed that policy. But 40 years later, Hattie McDaniel’s day would finally come. On the 47th anniversary of her death, the cemetery park honored her with a monument.