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|Also Known As:||Died:|
|Born:||July 22, 1954||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Detroit, Michigan, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor singer recording artist pianist nightclub chanteuse songwriter secretary|
Dusky-voiced, elegantly beautiful leading lady of stage, screen and TV who frequently played doomed chanteuses or tragic mulattos. McKee made a highly praised film debut as the drug-addicted lead singer of a Supremes-like pop group in "Sparkle" (1976). She first appeared on Broadway as Rachel (Mrs. Jackie) Robinson in the short-lived musical "The First" (1981) and won a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Julie in the 1983 Houston Grand Opera revival of "Show Boat" (she was reportedly the first black actress to play that role in a major American production).
McKee also appeared opposite Richard Pryor in the comedies, "Which Way Is Up?" (1977) and "Brewster's Millions" (1985) and was featured in the Francis Ford Coppola films "The Cotton Club" (1984), as a torch singer and "Gardens of Stone" (1987). In one of her richest roles to date, she co-starred as Wesley Snipes' put-upon wife in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" (1991).
After a rough personal period, McKee recorded the pop album "Natural Love" (1992) which did respectable sales, and was once again cast as Julie in yet another revival of "Show Boat" (1994).
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