Variety show host, singer Barbara McNair dies


Barbara McNair, the beautiful singer and actress who hosted her own TV variety show and co-starred with Sidney Poitier, has died, her sister said Monday. She was 72.

McNair died Sunday after a battle with throat cancer in Los Angeles, sister Jacqueline Gaither said.

"She was very family oriented," Gaither said. "She was more than just a star or a famous personality. She was a person of her own."

Gaining fame in the 1960s as a singer, McNair graduated to film and television as opportunities were opening up for black women. She made her Hollywood acting debut in 1968 in the film, "If He Hollers, Let Him Go."

She later starred opposite Poitier in "They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!" and with Elvis Presley in his 1969 film "Change of Habit."

She hosted television's "The Barbara McNair Show," a syndicated musical and comedy program, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As a singer, one of her biggest hits was "You Could Never Love Him."