Barbara McNair, who died in 2007, would have turned 79 today. We're remembering the many facets of her career in entertainment. Written by Linnea Crowther. Originally published February 2012.
Barbara McNair was a woman of many talents: A singer and an actress, she also hosted a TV variety show, becoming one of the first African-American women to do so. The Barbara McNair Show lasted three seasons, from 1969 to 1972, and featured big names like Sonny and Cher, The Righteous Brothers, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and more. As talented as her guests, McNair herself often sang on the show.
McNair had a successful recording career, too, with hits like "You're Gonna Love my Baby."
And last but certainly not least, she appeared in several movies. One of the best known was Elvis Presley's final feature film, Change of Habit. McNair and Mary Tyler Moore played nuns serving as nurses at Dr. Elvis's inner-city free clinic.