Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
December 28, 2014

High School Bans 'I Can't Breathe' T-Shirts

I Cant Breathe Shirts

New York Police Commissioner: Rift Between Mayor, Police Will 'Go On For A While'

Bill Bratton
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Ferguson Protestor Charged With Arson

Joshua Williams Arson

Is Watching Football A Sin?

Harry Carson Giants
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Neil Tweets Up A Christmas Controversy

Neil Degrasse Tyson
Astrid Stawiarz via Getty Images

7 Decorating Ideas To Steal From The 2015 HGTV Dream Home

Hgtv Dream Home

6 Big Takeaways From Michael Sam's Interview With Oprah

Own Oprah Prime Michael Sam Oprah Winfrey
George Burns/Harpo Studios

Black Teen Fatally Shot By Police 2 Miles From Ferguson

Antonio Martin Gas Station
Youtube/Live Streamer/stackizshort

What You Should Know About Kwanzaa

David Cooper via Getty Images

President Obama Gets A Holiday Ratings Boost

Leigh Vogel via Getty Images

Rush Limbaugh Can't Stand The Idea Of A Black James Bond

Idris Elba
WPA Pool via Getty Images

North Korea Says Obama Was Behind Release Of 'The Interview'

North Korea

Antonio Martin's Girlfriend Grieves: 'He Didn't Deserve To Die'

Keanna Brown
Mariah Stewart/The Huffington Post

Antonio Martin's Girlfriend Grieves

14 Religious Moments That Give Us Hope As 2014 Draws To A Close

Courtesy of Susan Talve

The 85 Most Powerful Comings Out Of 2014

Closet Doors
Dougal Waters via Getty Images

5 Times In 2014 When Students Stood Up For Their Beliefs

Twitter: Ted Alexandro

A Glance At Key Police Shootings In The St. Louis Area


Antonio Martin Protesters Shut Down Missouri Highway Amid Gunshots, Looting, Arrests

MICHAEL B. THOMAS via Getty Images

New Yorkers Defy Mayor's Request To Pause Demonstrations


Berkeley Mayor: Antonio Martin Is Not Michael Brown

Antonio Martin Gas Station
Youtube/Live Streamer/stackizshort

15 Times We Broke Down Stereotypes To Build Progress This Year


Woman Who Saved Family From Ebola Makes Amazing Progress

Woman Ebola

Prosecutor: Guns, Including AK-47, Have Smugged Onto Passenger Planes For Years

Delta Airlines
Bloomberg via Getty Images

LAPD Launch Probe Over Song Mocking Michael Brown's Death

Michael Brown Funeral

No Indictment For Houston Cop Who Killed Unarmed Man

Family and

Key Witness In Michael Brown Case May Not Have Actually Seen Him Die, Report Says

Darren Wilson

Andrew Sullivan Fires Back At Ta-Nehisi Coates' Criticism Of TNR

Sullivan Coates

Shaneka Nicole Thompson's Life Matters Too

Shaneka Thompson

Republicans Warm To Obama's Attorney General Pick

Loretta Lynch

Eric Garner's Daughter Visits Memorial Site Of Slain NYPD Officers

Memorial Nypd
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Two More Women Join The Long List Of Bill Cosby Accusers

Katherine Mckee
NY Daily News/YouTube

These Are The States Where Minority And Poor Students Get The Least Qualified Teachers

Valueline via Getty Images


    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    3. View all RSS feeds

Rihanna Celebrates The Holidays In A Christmas Red Bikini


Not Everyone Is Happy With 'Selma'

Selma Trailer

The Secrets Behind The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey Robert Battle
Richard Calmes/AAADT

Beyonce & Jay Z's Trip To Iceland Looks Like A Magical Winter Wonderland


'Selma' Director Thanks Christmas Day Viewers

Selma Ava Duvernay
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

WATCH: 13 Christmas-Themed Movies To Watch This Week

The Best Man Holiday
Universal Pictures

9 Holiday Hairstyles You Can Do In Under 15 Minutes

Holiday Hair

Kim Kardashian And Kanye West Just Landed Themselves A Pretty Major Gig


Maya Angelou's Hip-Hop-Poetry Music Video Is Here And It's Amazing

Harlem Hopscotch Maya Angelou Music Video

Bill Cosby's Sexual Allegations May Cost Him Support In The Black Community

Bill Cosby
Gerardo Mora via Getty Images

Oh, Yeah, Watch The First 'Entourage' Movie Trailer

Entourage Hbo

LeBron Jr. Is Already Dazzling On Court

Lebron Son

First Look: Jill Scott, Regina Hall And Eve In Lifetime's 'With This Ring'

With This Ring

Q-Tip, T.I. & Azealia Banks Engage In Twitter Exchange Over Iggy Azalea

Q Tip Ti Azealia Banks Iggy Azalea

11 Unforgettable Black Entertainment Moments Of 2014

Lupita Nyong O
Adam Taylor via Getty Images

Watch 330 Movies From 2014 In One Supercut

The Lego Movie Scene

Nicki Minaj's New Breakup Film Will Make Your Heart Ache


David Schwimmer Will Defend O.J. Simpson In New Ryan Murphy Show

David Schwimmer
Jeff Schear via Getty Images

Watch Darlene Love's Final 'Christmas' Performance On Letterman

Darlene Love David Letterman

Azealia Banks' Emotional Explanation For Her Problem With Iggy Azalea

Azealia Banks
Frank Hoensch via Getty Images

Meet The HuffPost Style Team!

Huffpost Style
Christina Emilie

Beyoncé & Jay Z Do Not Cameo In 'The Interview'

Beyonce Jay Z

12 Gifts For Dad, The Most Impossible Person On Your Shopping List

Pizza Cone

There's No One Reason To Dance. In Fact, Here Are 39 Of Them


The Incredible Christmas Oprah Will Never Forget

Own Oprah Where Are They Now Christmas Kindness

Jill Scott Set To Receive Major Honor

Jill Scott
Earl Gibson/BET via Getty Images

The Impact Of 'Black Messiah' on R&B

Mark Metcalfe via Getty Images

Vonetta McGee: Leading Lady of Blaxploitation Era Dead at 65

Comments (150)

Vonetta McGee
, an actress who scaled the ranks of black Hollywood during blaxploitation film era of the 1970s, died after experiencing cardiac arrest and being on life support for two days. She was 65, though some have her year of birth listed as 1940.

McGee appeared opposite Fred Williamson in the black action movie 'Hammer' in 1972 and had starring roles in the crime drama 'Melinda' and the popular horror film 'Blacula.'

One Los Angeles Times movie reviewer once considered McGee "one of the busiest and most beautiful black actresses."

The San Francisco native also appeared with Richard Roundtree in 'Shaft in Africa' (1973), and co-starred with her lover, Max Julien, in 'Thomasine & Bushrod' (1974).McGee also appeared alongside Clint Eastwood in the 1975 action-thriller 'The Eiger Sanction,' which was considered a coup for a black actress during that period.

"I was pleased to see her get a role with Clint Eastwood," Williamson told the Los Angeles Times. "Not many black actors had that opportunity to be in a movie where color doesn't matter."

"Vonetta McGee was like a lot of actors and actresses at that time, like myself, Jim Brown, Richard Roundtree, Billy Dee Williams and Pam Grier, in that we had more talent than we were allowed to show because everything was perceived as a black project. Once they categorize you, your marketability becomes limited," he added.

Known to be outspoken herself, McGee didn't care too much for the blaxploitation label that was attached to many of the films of her heyday. The label, she said, was used "like racism, so you don't have to think of the individual elements, just the whole. If you study propaganda, you understand how this works."

On a segment of 'Soul Train' in 1974, McGee joked that she had to go through a "lot of pain" to get her acting career started. In actuality, she attended San Francisco State college when she got involved with a local acting group. McGee launched her film career in 1968 in Italy, where she debuted in 'The Great Silence' and played the title role in the comedy 'Faustina.'

While starring in several episodes of the 1980s drama series 'Cagney & Lacey,' alongside Carl Lumbly, McGee fell in love with the dashing actor.

"I still remember the first day she came on the set -- it was August 21,1984 -- and we were scheduled to do a bedroom scene," Lumbly reflected in a 1989 Ebony magazine profile on celebrity couples. "Later, when we left the set, I realized we were holding hands. ... We married two years later."

The couple had a son, Brandon, in 1988.

According to family spokeswoman Kelley Nayo, McGee had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 17, but her July 9 death was not related to the disease.

In addition to her husband and son, she is survived by her mother, Alma McGee; three brothers, Donald, Richard and Ronald McGee; and a sister, Alma McGee.

"She was a brilliant actor, with a distinctive style and grace," Pam Grier told BV Newswire upon hearing about McGee's death. "I hope everyone revisits her films and enjoy. I wish peace and love to Carl, her husband, her son and and her family."

Comments: (150)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 15