‘The Mack,’ Black Samson, ‘Abby’ Actresses Turn 76 Years Old – The Hollywood Reporter

Carol Speed, actress and singer who made a name for herself with performances in films about the mining era The Mack, Black Samson and Abby, died Friday in Muskogee, Oklahoma, her family announced. She is 76 years old.

Speed ​​depicts Lulu, the prostitute character of Max Julien, in The Mack (1973), girlfriend of the owner of a lion club (Rockne Tarkington) in Black Samson (1974) and a silent woman in the hit martial arts film Dynamite Brothers (1974), starring Timothy Brown.

And in the lead role, Speed ​​plays the wife of a minister possessed by an evil West African spirit in Abby (1974). A horror movie about Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, Warner Bros. sued for the film to be withdrawn from theaters on the grounds of copyright infringement.

“The script reminds me of it [1957’s] Eve’s Three Faces, which included Paul Newman’s wife, [Joanne Woodward],” Speed ​​said in an undated interview. “I thought Abby is a great medium to show my acting. “

Born on March 14, 1945, in Bakersfield, California, Carol Ann Bennett Stewart was the first black hometown queen in Santa Clara County, then attended San Jose State University and on scholarship, the Conservatory of Music of the United States. Ky in San Francisco.

After working as backup vocalist for Bobbie Gentry at Harrah’s in Reno, Nevada, she appeared on an episode of NBC’s Julia opposite Diahann Carroll and had a recurring role on the NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives in 1970.

In 1972, she played a prostitute in New Centurions and a prisoner behind bars Big bird cage and throw Lamont (Demond Wilson) at the altar in Sanford and Son episode “Here comes the bride, here comes the bride.”

Speed ​​then appears in Bummer (1973), in feature films including The Huntington’s Girls, Love hate love, Stay away from it all and Psychological doctor and in the 1973 pilot for NBC’s Wednesday Mystery Series Tenafly.

After pausing action after the turn in Godfather Disco (1979), Speed ​​was hired for a small role in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown (1997) but withdrew at the last minute, her family said. Her last acting credit has arrived Village Vengeance (In 2006).

A singer-songwriter, Speed ​​performed her own compositions “I Can Make It” for The Huntington’s Girls and “My soul is a witness” to Abby.

She also wrote Inside Black Hollywood, published in 1980, and The Georgette Harvey Story, published in 2002, and contributed to another book, 2004 The Gods in Polyester, or Survivors’ Narrative of the 70s Movie Haunting.

Survivors include her nephew, Marc, and sister Barbara. Cards or donations can be sent to C. Speed, 18402 N. 19 Ave. #169, Phoenix, AZ 85023.

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