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Oscars flashback: Hats off to Hattie

February 4, 2009 |  7:48 am

Considering that there are two African-American women in the Oscars race for best supporting actress — Viola Davis ("Doubt") and Taraji P. Hanson ("Curious Case of Benjamin Button") — it's a good time to take a look back at Hattie McDaniel's breakthrough victory in 1939 for "Gone with the Wind." She beat Edna May Oliver ("Drums Along the Mohawk"), Olivia de Havilland ("Gone with the Wind"), Maria Ouspenskaya ("Love Affair") and Geraldine Fitzgerald ("Wuthering Heights").

What's notable about this clip is that it's edited to cut out the long time it took for McDaniel to get to the podium. She had been seated far in the back of the Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel.