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Juanita Moore obituary

Oscar-nominated actor who brought sensitivity and warmth to her most famous role in Imitation of Life

From its earliest days, Hollywood, which has always lagged behind wider social advances, limited the roles of black actors to stock, wide-eyed cowards, simpletons or servants, often referred to as "uncles" and "mammies". Juanita Moore, who has died aged 99, suffered from this limitation by having to play maids throughout most of her long career. However, Moore could have echoed what Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award, once said: "Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn't, I'd be making $7 a week being one."

Where McDaniel as Mammy, Scarlett O'Hara's lovable, sassy servant in Gone With the Wind (1939) was the apotheosis of the black maid, Moore's Oscar-nominated portrayal of Annie Johnson, housekeeper to the glamorous Broadway star Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) in Douglas Sirk

See full article on The Guardian - Film News