Hattie McDaniel’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Gone With the Wind” is finally being replaced after it went missing over 50 years ago.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is going to donate the award in her honor to Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts next month. The ceremony is taking place on October 1 in Washington D.C., according to Variety.
The ceremony, which will be held at the Ira Aldridge Theater, will celebrate McDaniel’s legacy, her historic Academy Award win, and it will reunite the award with the Howard, as she originally intended. Phylicia Rashad, dean of the College of Fine Arts, will give opening remarks. And there will be a performance of a medley of songs from current students and an excerpt from LaDarrion Williams’ play “Boulevard of Bold Dreams.”
Jacqueline Stewart, president of the Academy Museum, and Bill Kramer, the academy’s CEO, said in a statement to Variety, “Hattie McDaniel was a groundbreaking artist who changed the course of cinema and impacted generations of performers who followed her. 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.”
McDaniel’s acceptance speech is considered one of the most iconic moments in the Academy Award’s history. “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,” she said in her speech.
Her full speech is a part of the Academy Museum’s Academy Awards History Gallery.
McDaniel received a statuette instead of a plaque when she won her Oscar back in 1939. It was custom for supporting performance winners from 1936 to 1942 to receive plaques instead of statuttes. McDaniel’s donated her Academy Award to Howard University when she died in 1952. But the award went missing in the early 1970s after being displayed at the Howard drama department, KABC-TV reports. The location of McDaniel’s original Academy Award remain unknown.
Photo by Public Domain