Actress Geneviève Waïte, Former Wife of Musician John Phillips, Dead at 71

Her daughter Bijou Phillips confirmed the singer's passing

Bijou Phillips, Genevieve Waite
Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Geneviève Waïte, the actress, singer and former model who was married to the Mamas & the Papas musician John Phillips, is dead. She was 71.

In a statement exclusively obtained by PEOPLE, her daughter Bijou Phillips confirmed the singer’s passing on Saturday.

“Our beautiful Mother Geneviève Waïte Phillips, passed away in her sleep,” Bijou wrote. “She was a beautiful [a] soul, and born from another planet. Her ideas, her songs, her voice, and her heartbeat to a beautiful African rhythm no one else had and I am so thankful she was able to share it.”

She continued, “She was a light, a fairy, and a gift of a creature. The lyrics she wrote on her album were timeless and smart. Her mind was poetry and wit, her sense of humor was quick and dry. She was like a child in a way, who was too smart for her own good.”

Genevieve Waite
Geneviève Waïte. Ron Galella/WireImage

Waïte married Phillips in January 1972. They had two children together, Bijou, 39, and son Tamerlane Philipps.

“My father and mother had a magical, wonderful, heartbreaking life together but they created a masterpiece of music (Romance is on the Rise) and I’m so honored to be their child,” she continued. “My mother’s role in Joanna was groundbreaking for racial divides… My mother was a gift and I will miss her every day. In everything I cook, and in everything I sing, and in everything I do without her wise guidance.”

She added, “My brothers and sisters are all grieving. It’s nice thinking she is with our Dad, dancing around heaven… 2/13/1948 – 5/18/2019 Survived by Children Tamerlane Phillips, Bijou Phillips and stepchildren Jeffrey Phillips, Mackenzie Phillips and Chynna Phillips.”

John Phillips, Genevieve Waite and Mick Jagger
John Phillips, Geneviève Waïte and Mick Jagger. Sal Traina/Penske Media/REX/Shutterstock

Waïte was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and began her career as a model before transitioning into acting and singing. She starred in films such as 1968’s Joanna, Move in 1970 and Just a Kiss in 2002.

She worked on her 1974 album Romance Is on the Rise with Phillips, who produced it.

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