Vonetta McGee, a leading actress in popular 1970s films Blacula and Shaft died at a hospital in Berkeley, Calif., on July 9 after suffering a heart attack and spending two days on life support, the Los Angeles Times reported. She was 65.

A family spokeswoman to the Times McGee’s death was due to an undisclosed disease and not Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which she was diagnosed with as a teenager.
McGee’s career began in 1968 in Italy, where she appeared in the film, The Great Silence and was featured in the comedy Faustina.

According to the report, McGee despised the “blaxploitation” label given to many films starring African Americans and told the Times, the term was used “like racism, so you don’t have to think of the individual elements, just the whole. If you study propaganda, you would understand how this works.”

After starring in films, McGee appeared on television shows such as Robert Blake’s “Hell Town” and the sitcom “Bustin’ Loose.”

The family spokesman told the Times a memorial service is pending.