William "Bill" McGhee
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McGHEE, WILLIAM "BILL" Pioneer actor, William "Bill" McGhee aka Bill McGee, 76, died of breast cancer February 17th at his home. Mr. Mc Ghee, born in Mexia, Texas (Limestone County), lived in Dallas his entire life. His love for the arts began at age 12 while tap dancing in the streets of Dallas. Those endeavors led to participating in local community theatre activities and landing leading roles at Lincoln H.S. In June 1947, McGhee held an elevator operator job at the popular Baker Hotel (downtown Dallas), where the infamous bombing occurred and was reported as "dead" in the media. Miraculously, he survived, in spite of the harsh segregation climate at Parkland Hospital and ambulatory services during that time. He suffered amnesia, but was fully restored to health. He resumed his quest for the theatre and his unique odyssey of life continued. He served his country as Army Corporal in the 31st Unit division in the Korean War, and performed for the troops at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. While serving in Yucca Flats, Nevada, he was the unfortunate victim of secret Atmospheric Radiation testing experiment conducted there. Upon an honorable discharge, he resumed acting. He performed for Black troupes, such as the Dallas Theater Center's Janus Players with actors such as Irma P. Hall and Ted Mitchell. In 1954, Bill broke racial barriers and was the first Black to make a professional debut on the Dallas stage performing roles both written for Blacks and roles without racial requirements. Now coined William "Bill" McGhee, he would perform for companies like, Round-up Theatre and Courtyard Theatre. The young thespian joined the production company at Theater Three, affording him several lead roles. His move to integrate the stage impacted the community and he was given many more opportunities in the theater circuit. His life as an actor was planted and Bill reaped the benefits by being one of the first union Black actors in Dallas with SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). He acted in over 35 theater productions and stage plays including but not limited to "My Hearts", "Anna Lucasta", "Shakespeare in Harlem", "Golden Boy", "In White America", "Mrs. McThing"', "The Victory", "A Sleep of Prisoners"; over 15 films including but not limited to "Free, White and 21", "Bullet for Pretty Boy", "Don't Look in the Basement", "Slick Silver", "Curse of the Swamp Creature", "Riverbend", "A Solo Song for Doc", "Help Stamp out Fairplay", "Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald", "High Yellow", "Book of Numbers", "On Valentine's Day", "1918", "Quadroon" and 10 commercials, during his film career. He was a loyal client of Peggy Taylor Talent Agency. While working as an actor, he was an entrepreneur in several businesses including the entertainment lounge, The Idle Hour, which served as the movie set in the 1973 film, Book of Numbers, starring Raymond St. Jacques; hosted private roasts and dinner parties for his industry friends like Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Roscoe Lee Brown, Anthony Zerbe, Freda Payne and Z.Z. Hill; and owned and operated Sam's Record Shop #2, a retail store. He successfully served the community of North Texas, becoming the leading source for gospel and blues music for over 25 years, receiving many area awards for commendable service and plagues from the record industry moguls for his diligence in record sales. Bill was a phenomenal actor, gifted leader with an infectious personality. Bill is survived by his wife of 40 years, Ina B. Daniels Hurdle-McGee; two children-Derek and Dawn McGhee; four grandchildren-Delicia, Derek II, and Jessica McGhee and Cymphony Jackson; seven brothers and five sisters. Wake services will be held at Sandra Clark Funeral Home, Friday, February 23rd at 7:00 p.m. and Funeral services will be at 12:00 noon, Saturday, February 24th at Warren Avenue Christian Church. Burial will be in D/FW Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, February 26th. Sandra Clark Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. , Sandra Clark Funeral Home Family Owned/Operated 214-371-2600

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Feb. 23, 2007.
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Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
February 27, 2007
Bill McGhee was a giant of a man in every way. I remember the first time I realized the man on the movie poster was actually Bill. After I watched one of his movies, of course afterwards he told me about several other roles he had played and the role he turned down that made Sidney Poitier a star. (smile) But for more than his professional acting career, Bill was a man with a tender heart towards people and would do whatever he could to help. I have precious memories of listening to CD's and records in the record store and him always telling me that I haven't heard real church music until we listened to Rev. Charles Nicks. My prayers go out to Dawn and Misty and the entire family. Unfortunately I was out of town and could not attend the homegoing services but as soon as I started cleaning up my office, I ran into an invoice I owe Sam's Record Shop. I just had to smile and tell Bill in a whisper, "I'll take care of it".
Bishop A . J. Collins - Mount Rose Church
February 24, 2007
To Ina and family. Thanks to Deralyn Davis we just read about the transition of Bill. He always held a special place in the Foreman Family. He was our very first brother-in-law.Please know that you and Derek will be remembered in our prayers. I remember Bill as the young man who my mother,Lutisia trusted to escort me tomy first prom in Teague. The year was 1954.
My sisters and I would have joined you and your family had we known in time. Let us hear from you.
In sympathy and appreciation for one who was loved and respected by the Foreman Family of Teague.

Doris Foreman Nealy, Lovie Whyte, Mary Sample-Daniels,and Wanda Lynah
Doris Foreman-Nealy
February 23, 2007
My prayers are with you. Mr. Bill was a great person. Whenever I went into the store he always greeted me with a smile and proceeded to find what I was looking for. Family, continue to put your trust in God and he will give you strenth and comfort during this hour. May God's love abide with each of you.
Nelvia Forbes - Mount Rose MBC
February 23, 2007
TO INA AND THE MCGHEE FAMILY
WITH OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY
OUR FAMILY HURDLE
DANIEL SR (BUSTER) , MABLE, LINDA, DANIEL JR, JOYCE AND GLENN SEND OUR LOVE
MABLE MOTON HURDLE
February 23, 2007
TO INA & THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM MCGHEE
WE THE MOTON FAMILY
EDWARD BOSTON, BIRDIE LEE, WILMER EVERETT,GEORGE AUGUSTUS, DOROTHY MARYLINN (DECEASED), BERTHA ELIZABETH(DECEASED) DAVID OLIVER, ALTON NORRIS AND CONNIE MARIA MOTON IN SENDING OUR LOVE AND SYMPATHY AND IT HAS BEEN OUR PLEASURE TO HAVE KNOWN BILL AND WILL SHARE WITH YOU TO KEEP HIS SPIRIT AND MEMORY ALIVE.
GOD BLESS
THE EDWARD MOTON FAMILY CALIFORNIA
EDWARD AND BIRDIE MOTON
February 23, 2007
INA MCGHEE AND FAMILY
WITH ALL MY LOVE AND SYMPATHY
YOUR SISTER
GOD BLESS
MARVA
MARVA MOORE
February 23, 2007
TO INA MCGHEE AND FAMILY
MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.
BILL, YOU WERE A GREAT COUSIN,
I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH
BUT GOD LOVES YOU BEST
PHILLIP AND GENE WATERS CALDWELL
February 23, 2007
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well-lived.
La Verne Allen
February 23, 2007
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well-lived.
February 23, 2007
BILL WAS A VERY NICE BROTHER IN LAW AND VERY PLEASANT TO TALK WITH AND WILL BE MISSED.
INA AND DAWN, GOD BLESS YOU
I LOVE YOU
LOIS
LOIS RANSOM
February 23, 2007
To: The McGhee Family

We will miss Mr.Sam dearly
over here in Fort Worth,Texas.
Here are some Words of Comfort
for the McGhee Family and Friend's

After the storm
God sends blue skies.
After deep valleys
Tall hills arise.

After long nights
God sends the dawn
After sorrow
God gives a song.

But during grief
God send MORE grace
That leads us to
A deeper faith.

"Thank You,Lord Jesus,
For Your deep peace,
and for holding this family close
During they grief".

May the Lord who Consoles the
Broken hearted,Comfort you in
this Season of grieif and loss.

Linda Abbs&Family
Linda Abbs
February 23, 2007
"The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
Psalm 18:28

The McKnight and Lasalle Family
L McKnight
February 23, 2007
As young entertainers we were encouraged by you. Thanks for the memories. The Bombshells. (Sammy Pratt, Haywood Goer, Charley Roberson, Odis Booty and Clifton Jr.)
Odis Booty
February 22, 2007
Now the laborer’s task is over;
Now the Battle day is past;
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last.

It is with great sorrow that we part with our beloved friend "Bill" on this side of Jordan, but oh what joy when we meet on the other side. When we reach that blessed homeland, Where there's everlasting day; On that bright and blessed morning, God shall wipe all tears away.

Always bear in mind that spirit was never born and spirit can never die. Remember that God gives grace for each trial, and courage for each sorrow and faith to face in confidence a blessed, sweet, blissful and bright tommorrow.

I had the pleasure of knowing William "Bill" McGhee for many years. I admired his devotions to the arts, and culture contributions to the Dallas community. I have followed his career and spoke with him queit often at his record shop in Fort Worth, Texas. Moreover, he was a
perfect gentlemen at all times, and did what ever he could in placing Dallas on the map. As I go to my Father in prayer, I will ask for a special blessing for the entire McGhee Family.

With warm regards,
James Brown, Retired Educator
James Brown
February 22, 2007
Family, may God Bless and Keep you in his arms in this time of sorrow.
I Love you all,
Catherine Hurdle Harris
Catherine Hurdle-Harris
February 22, 2007
Kim Lewis
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