Barbara McNair was born on March 4, 1934 in Racine, Wisconsin. She spent one year at UCLA majoring in music then decided to move to New York City. She began working as a secretary to make ends meet and auditioned at various night clubs. Her first break came when Max Gordon of The Village Vanguard hired her. She eventually landed a job on the "Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Show." After her appearance she began to headline her own shows in The Persian Room at New York's Plaza Hotel, The Coconut Grove in Los Angeles and most of the major hotels in Las Vegas.
Barbara made her Broadway debut in the Harnick-Back musical "The Body Beautiful." She’s performed in two stage productions with Nat King Cole in "I’m With You" and the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in "The Merry World of Nat King Cole." Barbara also starred in "No Strings," "Pajama Game" and "Sophisticated Ladies: A Celebration of the Music of Duke Ellington." She also recorded with Coral Records, Signature and Motown Records.
Barbara’s film credits include "If He Hollers Let Him Go," "Stiletto," "They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!," "Change Of Habit" and "The Organization."
Barbara’s tv guest appearances include "Dr. Kildare," "I Spy," "Hogan’s Heroes," "To Rome With Love," "McMillan & Wife," " Police Woman," "Vegas" and "The Jeffersons." She’s performed in various variety shows including "The Dean Martin Show," "The Jonathan Winters Show," "The Flip Wilson Show" and "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour." Barbara had a recurring role in the daytime drama "General Hospital" and also hosted her own variety show "The Barbara McNair Show" from 1969 to 1971.
Barbara co-wrote the book "The Complete Book Of Beauty For The Black Woman."
Barbara passed away at the age of 72 on Sunday, February 4, 2007 after a battle with throat cancer.
Barbara's film credits include the following:
- Neon Signs (1996)
- Fatal Charm (1990)(Tv Movie)
- The Organization (1971)
- They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970)
- Change Of Habit (1969)
- The Lonely Profession (1969)(Tv Movie)
- Paroxismus (1969)
- Stiletto (1969)
- If He Hollers, Let Him Go! (1968)
- Spencer's Mountain (1963)
Check out the following sites for additional information about Barbara:
Barbara McNair@Internet Movie Database
Barbara McNair Official Site
Elvis's Women: Barbara McNair
Barbara McNair News
Barbara McNair News, Interviews & Updates