Geneviève Waïte, Singer, Songwriter and 'Joanna' Actress, Dies at 71

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Geneviève Waïte

The ex-wife of John Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas) is survived by actress Bijou Phillips.

Geneviève Waïte, an actress, singer and songwriter and the mother of actress Bijou Phillips, died in her sleep Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 71.

A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Waïte starred as the title character opposite Calvin Lockhart and Donald Sutherland in the London-set racial drama Joanna (1968). She also recorded a 1974 album, Romance Is on the Rise, that was produced by her then-husband, John Phillips, of Mamas and the Papas fame.

"She was a beautiful soul and born from another planet," Bijou Phillips said in a statement. "Her ideas, her songs, her voice and her heartbeat [were] to a beautiful African rhythm no one else had, and I am so thankful she was able to share it."

Waïte also worked as a model and appeared in Myra Breckinridge (1968) and Move (1970), and her song "Love Is Coming Back" from Romance Is on the Rise is heard in the 1976 David Bowie starrer The Man Who Fell to Earth. (Phillips did music for the film.)

She was married to Phillips from 1972 until their divorce in 1985.

Survivors also include her son, Tamerlane, and three stepchildren: actress Mackenzie Phillips, actress-singer Chynna Phillips and Jeffrey Phillips.