Friday, June 13, 2014

RIP Carla Laemmle

RIP Carla Laemmle, who's passed away at the age of 104. The niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, Carla lived a very unique life. While living on the Universal Studios lot, she was able to have a first hand look at many of the films being made there and ended up playing one of the ballerinas in the classic The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney, and she also spoke the first line in a sound horror film when she appeared in Dracula. I met her last year and heard her speak before a screening of Dracula at the 2012 TCM Film Fest. She was a sweet lady and always had a smile on her face.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Hattie McDaniel

Born on this date in 1892 in Wichita, Kansas

The first African American to win an Academy Award, winning Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Mammy" in Gone With The Wind

Wanted to be buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, but was denied because of her race and was buried in Rosedale Cemetery instead. A cenotaph was dedicated to her in Hollywood Forever in 1999 on October 26th, the anniversary of her death.

Unable to attend the Atlanta premiere of Gone With The Wind because of segregation in the south, but attended the Hollywood premiere of the film

Has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for radio and one for film

Upon her death, she left her Oscar to Howard University, but it was lost in the sixties during the race riots and has never been found.

Often opened up her own home to African American actors who couldn't find decent accommodations in Hollywood because of their race.

Actively participated in USO shows during World War II

Appears on a US postage stamp released in 2006 as part of the Black Heritage series.

Her father was a former slave, who also fought in the Civil War.