African-American lead actress and singer, onscreen from 1968.
- While working as a secretary in New York City, was booked to sing at the famed Village Vanguard jazz club and subsequently appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Show
- Big break was her Broadway debut in 1958 in the musical The Body Beautiful.
- Released her debut single, "Till There Was You," in 1958 on Coral Records; went on to record several albums in the late '60s for the legendary Motown record label.
- Made her feature-film debut with a bit part in the 1963 drama Spencer's Mountain
- Biggest movie roles came in the crime dramas If He Hollers, Let Him Go! (1968) and They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970), opposite Sydney Poitier.
- Became one of the first black TV hosts when she was offered her own variety program, The Barbara McNair Show, in 1969.