William McGhee

William McGhee (July 24, 1930 – February 17, 2007) was an African-American stage, film and television actor. He was also known professionally as Bill McGee, Bill McGhee and William Bill McGhee. Born in Mexia, Texas, McGhee 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 High School. In June 1947, aged 16, McGhee held an elevator operator job at the Baker Hotel in downtown Dallas, which was bombed. He was temporarily reported as “dead” in the media, but he survived. 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. He was among the soldiers exposed to atmospheric nuclear testing at Yucca Flats, Nevada to measure the bomb's consequences. He was reportedly selected for the mission because of the injuries he had survived in the Baker Hotel blast.


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