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Sun, 01.14.1945

Vonetta McGee, Actress born

Vonnetta McGee

*Vonetta McGee was born on this date in 1945. She was a Black actress.

Lawrence Vonetta McGee (named after her father) was born in San Francisco. Her family planned for her to have a career in law, and she began studying pre-law at San Francisco State College, but she became involved in amateur theater and was bitten by the acting bug.  McGee left college without graduating and joined the many American actors who moved to Rome in the 1960s to find work at the Cinecittà film studios.

McGee was described as "one of the busiest and most beautiful Black actresses" by Times movie reviewer Kevin Thomas in 1972. That year she appeared opposite Fred Williamson in the black action movie "Hammer" and had starring roles in the crime-drama "Melinda" and the horror film "Blacula." She went on to appear with Richard Roundtree in "Shaft in Africa" (1973) and co-starred with Max Julien in "Thomasine & Bushrod" (1974).

Vonetta McGee, an actress whose big-screen heyday during the blaxploitation era of the 1970s, died on July 9, 2010, at a hospital in Berkeley after experiencing cardiac arrest and being on life support for two days. Although McGee had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 17, her death was unrelated to the disease.

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