LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Singer and actress Barbara McNair has died at the age of 72 after a battle with throat cancer, her sister Jacqueline Gaither said.
During the course of her long career, Barbara worked as a touring artist, traveling to some of the hottest nightclubs of the era and been a popular actress on the stage, television and the silver screen.
McNair studied music at the American Music Conservatory in Chicago and started working the nightclub circuit, performing at some of most storied venues of the era such as the Purple Onion and Cocoanut Grove. After a successful appearance on Arthur Godfrey's "Talent Scouts", the American Idol of its time, McNair became a popular guest on television variety programs like the Steve Allen Show and eventually went on to host her own variety show "The Barbara McNair Show".
She wasn't limited to just singing however, after guest appearances on a number of popular television programs like "I Spy" and "Hogan's Heroes" she went on to a successful film career. She starred in the controversial If He Hollers Let Him Go, worked with Mary Tyler in Change of Habit and Sidney Poitier in They Call Me Mr. Tibbs.
She also took a turn at the live stage, performing in a number of Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including The Body Beautiful (1958), and the remake of The Pajama Game (1973)
"She just opened a few months ago for Bob Newhart. She was brilliant and fought very hard. We're all going to miss her, she was a class act." agent Scott Stander told CelebrityAccess – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers