McNair, in Chicago studied music at the American Conservatory of Music, played first time in 1958 on Broadway. In parallel, she built on a career as an actress, so she stood in 1963 in Delmer Daves ' summer of expectation " for the first time on camera. For sensation made her appearance in the feature film " ... but the blood is always red ," in which she was seen naked. It was followed by appearances in television series such as "Mission: Impossible" or "General Hospital". In 1968, she was seen in Jess Franco's surrealistic mystery thriller "Venus in Furs " and hear; she also sang the theme song. The following year, she starred in " A heavenly swindle " on the side of Elvis Presley. Their best-known films were " tens of hours for Virgil Tibbs " (1969) and " The Organization " (1971). In both Barbara McNair played the wife of Virgil Tibbs (Sir Sidney Poitier ).