Barbara McNair loses battle with cancer

Barbara McNair, the pioneering black singer-actress who hosted her own TV variety show and starred with Sidney Poitier in the early 1970s. She was 72. Ms. McNair died Sunday after a battle with throat cancer in Los Angeles, sister Jacqueline Gaither said.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Barbara McNair, the pioneering

black singer-actress who hosted her own TV variety show and starred

with Sidney Poitier in the early 1970s. She was 72.

Ms. 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."

Gaining fame in the 1960s as a singer, Ms. McNair graduated to

acting as opportunities were opening up for black women. She started in

television in 1963 and made her first film in 1968.

She starred with Elvis Presley in his 1969 film "Change of Habit,"

with Poitier in 1970's "They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!" and appeared on

more than a dozen TV series.

She hosted television's "The Barbara McNair Show," a syndicated

music and comedy program, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As a

singer, one of her biggest hits was "You Could Never Love Him."

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