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Bill Overton

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Information about Bill Overton

Profile image of Bill Overton

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Actor
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
If You Didn't Know How Old You Was, How Old Would You Be?

Birthplace

Born:
2/26/1947
Birth Location:
Boston, Massachusetts

Profession

Category:
SportsMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Actor
Football Player

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
If You Didn't Know How Old You Was, How Old Would You Be?

Birthplace

Born:
2/26/1947
Birth Location:
Boston
See how Bill Overton is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Actor Bill Overton was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised by his mother and stepfather, Hessie and Eugene Waterhouse. As a child, Overton attended Boston’s Asa Gray Elementary, W.L.P. Boardman Elementary, Henry L. Higginson Elementary and Lewis Junior High Schools. As an adolescent, Overton was a premiere athlete and member of his school’s football and basketball teams. He attended the historical Boston English High School where he was voted vice president of his senior class.

Overton went on to attend one of Nebraska’s junior colleges and established himself as one his era’s phenomenal football players. His display of athletic talent at the junior college level earned him a full scholarship to attend Wake Forest University. Overton graduated in 1968 as a speech and drama major, and that same year, he was drafted by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. In 1969, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and the following year, he began playing for the Canadian Football League. Then, in 1970, Overton moved back to Boston and worked as a sports agent for Pro Sports, Inc. While there, he was instrumental in the company’s signing of four-time Pro Bowler Raymond Chester, and worked to ensure fair contracts for African American football players.

In 1971, Overton began a career in modeling and was hired for various advertising agencies including Black Beauty and Ford modeling agencies. He helped to launch ad campaigns for Hanes, Benson and Hedges, Canadian Mist, Sears, and Montgomery Ward. During the 1970s, Overton also began appearing in television commercials. He honed his acting skills by enrolling at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City and was mentored by actor Woody Strode. Overton starred in several films throughout the mid-1970s, often appearing in roles that required him to demonstrate his athleticism. He was featured in episodes of the New Perry Mason series, Firehouse and the films Cover Girl and Invisible Strangler. Then, in 1981, he starred alongside Harry Belafonte and LeVar Burton in the film Grambling’s White Tigers.

Overton married award winning actress Jayne Kennedy in 1985. He continued to make television appearances throughout the 1980s and 1990s, starring in classic sitcoms such as The Red Foxx Show, 227, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

In 2002, Overton published The Media: Shaping an Image of a People. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three daughters.

See how Bill Overton is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bill Overton's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bill Overton lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bill Overton describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bill Overton describes his home life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bill Overton remembers his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bill Overton remembers his community in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bill Overton remembers Lewis Junior High School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bill Overton recalls enrolling at the English High School in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bill Overton recalls his experiences the English High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bill Overton describes his activities at the English High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bill Overton remembers his football scholarship to McCook Community College in McCook, Nebraska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bill Overton describes his first impressions of McCook Junior College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes his experiences at McCook Junior College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bill Overton recalls transferring to Wake Forest College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bill Overton remembers his experiences at Wake Forest College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bill Overton talks about 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bill Overton talks about black athletes at Wake Forest College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bill Overton remembers dating at Wake Forest College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bill Overton talks about interracial relationships among celebrities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bill Overton remembers joining the Dallas Cowboys
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes racial discrimination in the National Football League
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bill Overton talks about the role of race in college basketball
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bill Overton recalls playing for the Dallas Cowboys
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bill Overton recalls playing for the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bill Overton recalls joining the Canadian Football League
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bill Overton remembers his decision to quit professional football
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his career after leaving professional football
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bill Overton remembers his modeling career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bill Overton remembers his decision to pursue acting as a career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bill Overton describes his acting career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bill Overton talks about his marriages
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bill Overton recalls his colleagues in the entertainment industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bill Overton talks about his success in the entertainment industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his marriage to Jayne Kennedy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bill Overton talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bill Overton describes his career as a real estate developer and author
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bill Overton describes his book, 'The Media: Shaping the Image of a People'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bill Overton reflects upon the mass media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bill Overton reflects upon the impact of stereotyping
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bill Overton shares his advice to future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bill Overton talks about African Americans in the entertainment industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bill Overton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bill Overton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bill Overton reflects upon his legacy