Barbara McNair

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At a Glance

Birthname: Barbara Joan McNair
Nationality: American
Born: Mar 04 1934
Died: Feb 04 2007 (72 years old)


Biography

Barbara McNair (March 4, 1934 - February 4, 2007) was an African-American singer, Recording Artist, Star of Broadway, Television and Motion Picture Silver Screen Film Actress. Who at the time accomplished what many could only dream of.

Born Barbara Joan McNair, but often went by the name of Barbara Jean or Bobby in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Racine, Wisconsin[1], McNair studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Her big break came with a win on Arthur Godfrey's TV show Talent Scouts, which led to bookings at The Purple Onion and the Cocoanut Grove.

She soon became ... Read more

Barbara McNair (March 4, 1934 - February 4, 2007) was an African-American singer, Recording Artist, Star of Broadway, Television and Motion Picture Silver Screen Film Actress. Who at the time accomplished what many could only dream of.

Born Barbara Joan McNair, but often went by the name of Barbara Jean or Bobby in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Racine, Wisconsin[1], McNair studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Her big break came with a win on Arthur Godfrey's TV show Talent Scouts, which led to bookings at The Purple Onion and the Cocoanut Grove.

She soon became one of the world's most popular headliners and a guest on such television variety shows as The Steve Allen Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, The Bell Telephone Hour, and The Hollywood Palace, while recording for the Coral, Signature, Roulette, Warner Brothers,TEC and Motown labels. Among her hits were You're Gonna Love My Baby a song that gave much strength to sister of Frederick Manzie (Rose) when Barbara helped to raise her nephew John Thomas. In the early 60s, Barbara made several musical shorts for Scopitone, a franchise of coin-operated machines that showed what were then the forerunners of today's music videos.

McNair's acting career began on television, with guest appearances on series such as Dr. Kildare, The Eleventh Hour, I Spy, Mission: Impossible, Hogan's Heroes and McMillan and Wife. McNair also went on to appeared in just about every musical variety show including The Dean Martin Show, Flip Wilson, Sonny and Cher, Glen Campbell, Jim Nabors and many others of that era.

McNair posed nude for Playboy in the October 1968 issue. She caught the attention of the movie-going public with her much-publicized nude sequences in the gritty crime drama If He Hollers Let Him Go (1968) opposite Raymond St. Jacques, then donned a nun's habit alongside Mary Tyler Moore for Change of Habit (1969)and long admirer Elvis Presley who requested that she star in his last feature film. She co-starred with Joseph Cotten, Fernando Lamas and Jack Carter in the made-for-television movie The Lonely Profession. She portrayed Sidney Poitier's wife in They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970) and it's sequel, The Organization (1971). McNair also went on to star in Venus in Furs along side James Darren in the all time cult classic masterpiece movie directed by Jess Franco.

McNair also went on the road with Nat King Cole in "The Merry World of Nat King Cole" and later went on to star with Nat in "I'm With You" at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, 1961. At this time Barbara convinced Nat to let his daughter Natalie star onstage at The Greek Theatre, "I'm With You". Natalie played the role of "Gigi" as a little girl and Barbara played the grown up "Gigi". This launched Natalie's career in the Entertainment industry.

McNair's Broadway credits include The Body Beautiful (1958), No Strings (1962), and a revival of The Pajama Game opposite Hal Linden in (1973).

Barbara McNair was the first African American Female Actress to host her own Musical Variety Television Show "The Barbara McNair Show" produced by Burt Rosen and Frederick Manzie in 1969. A musical television variety series, that included A list entertainers like Sonny & Cher, Duke Ellington, Tony Bennet, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, The Righteous Brothers, and many more celebrities that became superstars. The series lasted three years, till Barbara decided to sign on to do silver screen movies with Warner Brothers.

Barbara was voted one of the most beautiful women in the world by the International Society of Cosmetologists and wrote her own book on beauty "The Complete Book of Beauty for the Black Woman", a dazzling Women who shares her glamour secrets. Barbara possessed a unique talent mixed with her svelte beauty, she was able to catch the audience with an emotional depth that she portrayed while she sang with her beautiful voice.

Barbara would sing from her heart, and would sing songs that she felt had an emotional meaning or feeling to them. Tragically, On December 15, 1976, her husband, Frederick "Rick" Manzie, The Love of her life, was murdered in their Las Vegas, Bruce Street Mansion, within one year’s time, Barbara had lost her Husband Rick Manzie, her Mother Claudia McNair, her Mother in Law Pearl Manzie and her father Horace McNair,and shortly after that her Brother Horace McNair was murdered which proved to be a very hard time for Barbara emotionally. It seemed that her famous recordings had come true, one song in particular was "My World is Empty Without You", which reminded Barbara of the tragic ordeals that she had to deal with in the mid 1970's. Mafia boss-turned-FBI-informant Jimmy Fratianno later claimed in his book The Last Mafioso that Manzie had been a Mafia associate who tried to put a contract on the life of a mob-associated tax attorney "Marven Michelson" with whom he had a legal dispute, but family members of Manzie know this was not the cause of Manzie's death.

Her recordings included The Livin' End, I Enjoy Being a Girl, 'Love Talk', More Today Than Yesterday', 'Front Row Center', 'The Real Barbara McNair', 'Here I Am', 'If He Holler's Let Him Go - An original Motion Picture Soundtrack', Face To Face With Love, The Ultimate Motown Collection, a 2-CD set with 48 tracks that include her two albums for the label plus a non-album single and B-side and an entire LP that never was released where Barbara sings Smokey Robinson Songs.

Her final work of art was "Here's To Life" - a digital CD of music chosen by Barbara and Charles Blecka who she later married. Barbara was inspired to create her last musical CD "Here's To Life" when she and Charles visited with her nephew John Thomas and his family in Illinois. They all realized they were still a close knit family and this inspired Barbara to sing songs that reminded her of the good times she had with her future husband and Barbara's own Family, her Sister Jacquline Gaither, Angela Rosenow and John Thomas and his Family. (Thomas was the Nephew of Barbara that she raised when she was married to Frederick Manzie).

Singing with an emotional depth once again, Barbara recorded 14 songs that were very special to her and her family members. "Come Back As A Song" is a beautiful number that will keep Barbara's memory alive forever. Her other recording "Here's to Life" would mark her memories of her trip to Illinois with Husband Charles Blecka, staying with her Thomas Family. This is a special song that will always have a deep meaning to everyone that was there.

Into her seventies, McNair resided in the Los Angeles area, playing tennis and skiing to keep in shape on a regular basis and then she began touring again. Her Nephew launched a web site http://www.BarbaraMcNair.com in the year 2000 and they realized she still had many fans around the world that demanded Barbara resume her singing again. Her career took off once again as her husband Charles Blecka and nephew John Thomas worked together with Barbara to manage her schedule until she died on February 4, 2007. Barbara had a skull based tumor behind her sinus, that was misdiagnosed in the beginning of her throat cancer treatment. She is survived by her husband Charles Blecka, Sister Jacquline Gaither, Niece Angela Rosenow, Nephew John Thomas, and his family wife Laura Thomas, and children Johnnie and Michelle, still a very close knit family that knew well the "Touch of Time" another song she sang. There are still multiple recordings of Barbara that she created with her Nephew that are starting to be released. Some from Barbara's years in the 1970's that were from her private collection when different Singers would visit and stay with her while they were performing in Las Vegas that were given to her Nephew which he promised to release. Barbara requested her Nephew to tell the story of her life from his heart as he grew up around the Legendary Entertainer. There is also another song "Silence Broken" that she wrote with her Nephew that would describe the tragic loss of her husband in the Lyrics, through childhood eyes, as she appointed her Nephew to tell the truth, from his heart of what they had all went through in those hard times. A Documentary, Book and Movie is still in the works to Honor Barbara McNair for all she gave to the world which should give her the recognition she deserves as being a Legendary Icon in the Entertainment Industry.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Barbara McNair (March 4, 1934 - February 4, 2007) was an African-American singer, Recording Artist, Star of Broadway, Television and Motion Picture Silver Screen Film Actress. Who at the time accomplished what many could only dream of.

Born Barbara Joan McNair, but often went by the name of Barbara Jean or Bobby in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Racine, Wisconsin[1], McNair studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Her big break came with a win on Arthur Godfrey's TV show Talent Scouts, which led to bookings at The Purple Onion and the Cocoanut Grove.

She soon became one of the world's most popular headliners and a guest on such television variety shows as The Steve Allen Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, The Bell Telephone Hour, and The Hollywood Palace, while recording for the Coral, Signature, Roulette, Warner Brothers,TEC and Motown labels. Among her hits were You're Gonna Love My Baby a song that gave much strength to sister of Frederick Manzie (Rose) when Barbara helped to raise her nephew John Thomas. In the early 60s, Barbara made several musical shorts for Scopitone, a franchise of coin-operated machines that showed what were then the forerunners of today's music videos.

McNair's acting career began on television, with guest appearances on series such as Dr. Kildare, The Eleventh Hour, I Spy, Mission: Impossible, Hogan's Heroes and McMillan and Wife. McNair also went on to appeared in just about every musical variety show including The Dean Martin Show, Flip Wilson, Sonny and Cher, Glen Campbell, Jim Nabors and many others of that era.

McNair posed nude for Playboy in the October 1968 issue. She caught the attention of the movie-going public with her much-publicized nude sequences in the gritty crime drama If He Hollers Let Him Go (1968) opposite Raymond St. Jacques, then donned a nun's habit alongside Mary Tyler Moore for Change of Habit (1969)and long admirer Elvis Presley who requested that she star in his last feature film. She co-starred with Joseph Cotten, Fernando Lamas and Jack Carter in the made-for-television movie The Lonely Profession. She portrayed Sidney Poitier's wife in They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970) and it's sequel, The Organization (1971). McNair also went on to star in Venus in Furs along side James Darren in the all time cult classic masterpiece movie directed by Jess Franco.

McNair also went on the road with Nat King Cole in "The Merry World of Nat King Cole" and later went on to star with Nat in "I'm With You" at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, 1961. At this time Barbara convinced Nat to let his daughter Natalie star onstage at The Greek Theatre, "I'm With You". Natalie played the role of "Gigi" as a little girl and Barbara played the grown up "Gigi". This launched Natalie's career in the Entertainment industry.

McNair's Broadway credits include The Body Beautiful (1958), No Strings (1962), and a revival of The Pajama Game opposite Hal Linden in (1973).

Barbara McNair was the first African American Female Actress to host her own Musical Variety Television Show "The Barbara McNair Show" produced by Burt Rosen and Frederick Manzie in 1969. A musical television variety series, that included A list entertainers like Sonny & Cher, Duke Ellington, Tony Bennet, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, The Righteous Brothers, and many more celebrities that became superstars. The series lasted three years, till Barbara decided to sign on to do silver screen movies with Warner Brothers.

Barbara was voted one of the most beautiful women in the world by the International Society of Cosmetologists and wrote her own book on beauty "The Complete Book of Beauty for the Black Woman", a dazzling Women who shares her glamour secrets. Barbara possessed a unique talent mixed with her svelte beauty, she was able to catch the audience with an emotional depth that she portrayed while she sang with her beautiful voice.

Barbara would sing from her heart, and would sing songs that she felt had an emotional meaning or feeling to them. Tragically, On December 15, 1976, her husband, Frederick "Rick" Manzie, The Love of her life, was murdered in their Las Vegas, Bruce Street Mansion, within one year’s time, Barbara had lost her Husband Rick Manzie, her Mother Claudia McNair, her Mother in Law Pearl Manzie and her father Horace McNair,and shortly after that her Brother Horace McNair was murdered which proved to be a very hard time for Barbara emotionally. It seemed that her famous recordings had come true, one song in particular was "My World is Empty Without You", which reminded Barbara of the tragic ordeals that she had to deal with in the mid 1970's. Mafia boss-turned-FBI-informant Jimmy Fratianno later claimed in his book The Last Mafioso that Manzie had been a Mafia associate who tried to put a contract on the life of a mob-associated tax attorney "Marven Michelson" with whom he had a legal dispute, but family members of Manzie know this was not the cause of Manzie's death.

Her recordings included The Livin' End, I Enjoy Being a Girl, 'Love Talk', More Today Than Yesterday', 'Front Row Center', 'The Real Barbara McNair', 'Here I Am', 'If He Holler's Let Him Go - An original Motion Picture Soundtrack', Face To Face With Love, The Ultimate Motown Collection, a 2-CD set with 48 tracks that include her two albums for the label plus a non-album single and B-side and an entire LP that never was released where Barbara sings Smokey Robinson Songs.

Her final work of art was "Here's To Life" - a digital CD of music chosen by Barbara and Charles Blecka who she later married. Barbara was inspired to create her last musical CD "Here's To Life" when she and Charles visited with her nephew John Thomas and his family in Illinois. They all realized they were still a close knit family and this inspired Barbara to sing songs that reminded her of the good times she had with her future husband and Barbara's own Family, her Sister Jacquline Gaither, Angela Rosenow and John Thomas and his Family. (Thomas was the Nephew of Barbara that she raised when she was married to Frederick Manzie).

Singing with an emotional depth once again, Barbara recorded 14 songs that were very special to her and her family members. "Come Back As A Song" is a beautiful number that will keep Barbara's memory alive forever. Her other recording "Here's to Life" would mark her memories of her trip to Illinois with Husband Charles Blecka, staying with her Thomas Family. This is a special song that will always have a deep meaning to everyone that was there.

Into her seventies, McNair resided in the Los Angeles area, playing tennis and skiing to keep in shape on a regular basis and then she began touring again. Her Nephew launched a web site http://www.BarbaraMcNair.com in the year 2000 and they realized she still had many fans around the world that demanded Barbara resume her singing again. Her career took off once again as her husband Charles Blecka and nephew John Thomas worked together with Barbara to manage her schedule until she died on February 4, 2007. Barbara had a skull based tumor behind her sinus, that was misdiagnosed in the beginning of her throat cancer treatment. She is survived by her husband Charles Blecka, Sister Jacquline Gaither, Niece Angela Rosenow, Nephew John Thomas, and his family wife Laura Thomas, and children Johnnie and Michelle, still a very close knit family that knew well the "Touch of Time" another song she sang. There are still multiple recordings of Barbara that she created with her Nephew that are starting to be released. Some from Barbara's years in the 1970's that were from her private collection when different Singers would visit and stay with her while they were performing in Las Vegas that were given to her Nephew which he promised to release. Barbara requested her Nephew to tell the story of her life from his heart as he grew up around the Legendary Entertainer. There is also another song "Silence Broken" that she wrote with her Nephew that would describe the tragic loss of her husband in the Lyrics, through childhood eyes, as she appointed her Nephew to tell the truth, from his heart of what they had all went through in those hard times. A Documentary, Book and Movie is still in the works to Honor Barbara McNair for all she gave to the world which should give her the recognition she deserves as being a Legendary Icon in the Entertainment Industry.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Barbara McNair (March 4, 1934 - February 4, 2007) was an African-American singer, Recording Artist, Star of Broadway, Television and Motion Picture Silver Screen Film Actress. Who at the time accomplished what many could only dream of.

Born Barbara Joan McNair, but often went by the name of Barbara Jean or Bobby in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Racine, Wisconsin[1], McNair studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Her big break came with a win on Arthur Godfrey's TV show Talent Scouts, which led to bookings at The Purple Onion and the Cocoanut Grove.

She soon became one of the world's most popular headliners and a guest on such television variety shows as The Steve Allen Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, The Bell Telephone Hour, and The Hollywood Palace, while recording for the Coral, Signature, Roulette, Warner Brothers,TEC and Motown labels. Among her hits were You're Gonna Love My Baby a song that gave much strength to sister of Frederick Manzie (Rose) when Barbara helped to raise her nephew John Thomas. In the early 60s, Barbara made several musical shorts for Scopitone, a franchise of coin-operated machines that showed what were then the forerunners of today's music videos.

McNair's acting career began on television, with guest appearances on series such as Dr. Kildare, The Eleventh Hour, I Spy, Mission: Impossible, Hogan's Heroes and McMillan and Wife. McNair also went on to appeared in just about every musical variety show including The Dean Martin Show, Flip Wilson, Sonny and Cher, Glen Campbell, Jim Nabors and many others of that era.

McNair posed nude for Playboy in the October 1968 issue. She caught the attention of the movie-going public with her much-publicized nude sequences in the gritty crime drama If He Hollers Let Him Go (1968) opposite Raymond St. Jacques, then donned a nun's habit alongside Mary Tyler Moore for Change of Habit (1969)and long admirer Elvis Presley who requested that she star in his last feature film. She co-starred with Joseph Cotten, Fernando Lamas and Jack Carter in the made-for-television movie The Lonely Profession. She portrayed Sidney Poitier's wife in They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970) and it's sequel, The Organization (1971). McNair also went on to star in Venus in Furs along side James Darren in the all time cult classic masterpiece movie directed by Jess Franco.

McNair also went on the road with Nat King Cole in "The Merry World of Nat King Cole" and later went on to star with Nat in "I'm With You" at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, 1961. At this time Barbara convinced Nat to let his daughter Natalie star onstage at The Greek Theatre, "I'm With You". Natalie played the role of "Gigi" as a little girl and Barbara played the grown up "Gigi". This launched Natalie's career in the Entertainment industry.

McNair's Broadway credits include The Body Beautiful (1958), No Strings (1962), and a revival of The Pajama Game opposite Hal Linden in (1973).

Barbara McNair was the first African American Female Actress to host her own Musical Variety Television Show "The Barbara McNair Show" produced by Burt Rosen and Frederick Manzie in 1969. A musical television variety series, that included A list entertainers like Sonny & Cher, Duke Ellington, Tony Bennet, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, The Righteous Brothers, and many more celebrities that became superstars. The series lasted three years, till Barbara decided to sign on to do silver screen movies with Warner Brothers.

Barbara was voted one of the most beautiful women in the world by the International Society of Cosmetologists and wrote her own book on beauty "The Complete Book of Beauty for the Black Woman", a dazzling Women who shares her glamour secrets. Barbara possessed a unique talent mixed with her svelte beauty, she was able to catch the audience with an emotional depth that she portrayed while she sang with her beautiful voice.

Barbara would sing from her heart, and would sing songs that she felt had an emotional meaning or feeling to them. Tragically, On December 15, 1976, her husband, Frederick "Rick" Manzie, The Love of her life, was murdered in their Las Vegas, Bruce Street Mansion, within one year’s time, Barbara had lost her Husband Rick Manzie, her Mother Claudia McNair, her Mother in Law Pearl Manzie and her father Horace McNair,and shortly after that her Brother Horace McNair was murdered which proved to be a very hard time for Barbara emotionally. It seemed that her famous recordings had come true, one song in particular was "My World is Empty Without You", which reminded Barbara of the tragic ordeals that she had to deal with in the mid 1970's. Mafia boss-turned-FBI-informant Jimmy Fratianno later claimed in his book The Last Mafioso that Manzie had been a Mafia associate who tried to put a contract on the life of a mob-associated tax attorney "Marven Michelson" with whom he had a legal dispute, but family members of Manzie know this was not the cause of Manzie's death.

Her recordings included The Livin' End, I Enjoy Being a Girl, 'Love Talk', More Today Than Yesterday', 'Front Row Center', 'The Real Barbara McNair', 'Here I Am', 'If He Holler's Let Him Go - An original Motion Picture Soundtrack', Face To Face With Love, The Ultimate Motown Collection, a 2-CD set with 48 tracks that include her two albums for the label plus a non-album single and B-side and an entire LP that never was released where Barbara sings Smokey Robinson Songs.

Her final work of art was "Here's To Life" - a digital CD of music chosen by Barbara and Charles Blecka who she later married. Barbara was inspired to create her last musical CD "Here's To Life" when she and Charles visited with her nephew John Thomas and his family in Illinois. They all realized they were still a close knit family and this inspired Barbara to sing songs that reminded her of the good times she had with her future husband and Barbara's own Family, her Sister Jacquline Gaither, Angela Rosenow and John Thomas and his Family. (Thomas was the Nephew of Barbara that she raised when she was married to Frederick Manzie).

Singing with an emotional depth once again, Barbara recorded 14 songs that were very special to her and her family members. "Come Back As A Song" is a beautiful number that will keep Barbara's memory alive forever. Her other recording "Here's to Life" would mark her memories of her trip to Illinois with Husband Charles Blecka, staying with her Thomas Family. This is a special song that will always have a deep meaning to everyone that was there.

Into her seventies, McNair resided in the Los Angeles area, playing tennis and skiing to keep in shape on a regular basis and then she began touring again. Her Nephew launched a web site http://www.BarbaraMcNair.com in the year 2000 and they realized she still had many fans around the world that demanded Barbara resume her singing again. Her career took off once again as her husband Charles Blecka and nephew John Thomas worked together with Barbara to manage her schedule until she died on February 4, 2007. Barbara had a skull based tumor behind her sinus, that was misdiagnosed in the beginning of her throat cancer treatment. She is survived by her husband Charles Blecka, Sister Jacquline Gaither, Niece Angela Rosenow, Nephew John Thomas, and his family wife Laura Thomas, and children Johnnie and Michelle, still a very close knit family that knew well the "Touch of Time" another song she sang. There are still multiple recordings of Barbara that she created with her Nephew that are starting to be released. Some from Barbara's years in the 1970's that were from her private collection when different Singers would visit and stay with her while they were performing in Las Vegas that were given to her Nephew which he promised to release. Barbara requested her Nephew to tell the story of her life from his heart as he grew up around the Legendary Entertainer. There is also another song "Silence Broken" that she wrote with her Nephew that would describe the tragic loss of her husband in the Lyrics, through childhood eyes, as she appointed her Nephew to tell the truth, from his heart of what they had all went through in those hard times. A Documentary, Book and Movie is still in the works to Honor Barbara McNair for all she gave to the world which should give her the recognition she deserves as being a Legendary Icon in the Entertainment Industry.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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