Genevieve Waite, Mother of Actress Bijou Phillips, Dead at 71

Genevieve Waite, the mother of Almost Famous actress Bijou Phillips, died Saturday in Los Angeles. The South African singer, actress and model was 71.

Sources close to Phillips, 39, told TMZ Waite died in her sleep Saturday. Phillips later sent a statement to the site, confirming the news.

"Our beautiful mother Geneviève Waite Phillips, passed away in her sleep. She was a beautiful soul, and born from another planet," Phillips said. "Her ideas, her songs, her voice, and her heart beat to a beautiful African rhythm no one else had and I am so thankful she was able to share it."

Phillips called her mother a "light, a dairy, and a gift of a creature," adding, "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. My father and my 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."

Phillips also paid tribute to Waite's best-known film performance. Waite starred in Joanna, a Golden Globe-nominated 1968 drama about an interracial couple.

"My mother's role in 'Joanna' was groundbreaking for racial divides. My mother was a gift and I will miss her everyday. In everything I cook, and in everything I sing and in everything I do without her wise guidance," Phillips told TMZ. "It's nice thinking she is with our Dad, dancing around in heaven."

Waite was married to The Mamas & The Papas' John Phillips from 1972 to 1985. The couple had two children, Phillips and son Tamerlane Phillips. In 1974, Phillips produced Waite's album Romance Is On The Rise.

Waite also had an uncredited role in 1970's Myra Breckinridge and appeared in 1970's Move. Her song "Love Is Coming Back" appeared in the 1976 David Bowie cult film The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Phillips concluded, "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."

As for Phillips, she is best known for her role in Almost Famous as Estrella Starr. She also starred in Havoc (2005), Hostel: Part II (2007) and It's Alive (2009). She appeared in seven episodes of FOX's Raising Hope from 2010 to 2013.

In 2011, Phillips married former The Ranch star Danny Masterson. The two share a daughter, 5- year-old Fianna Francis Masterson.


Phillips' half-sisters are actress Mackenzie Phillips and Wilson Phillips singer Chynna Phillips.

Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CineVegas