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George W. Freeman, an actor and employee of the New York State Department of Labor, died Aug. 21, 2000, in Birmingham, Ala. He was 79.

He started his career in Buffalo with the Ira Aldridge Players. After seven years of singing with the Johnson Male Chorus, the group was invited to perform at Melody Fair in a "Show Boat" production, which he later performed in Studio Arena Theatre.

After 25 years of productions throughout Western New York, Freeman decided to change from performing to directing. He was active as a guest artist in numerous University at Buffalo productions and a host of community theaters throughout the Buffalo area and Canada.

He retired from his post at the state Department of Labor and moved to Milwaukee, where he directed three shows. After teaching beginner classes for actors, he moved to Richmond, Calif., where he worked on the television show "No Place to Be Somebody."

From there, he landed a lead role in the stage production "Welfare" and then moved to Alabama, where he served as an artist in residence with a theater company.

Freeman's Buffalo acting credits include Paul Robeson Theater: "Driving Miss Daisy," "Night Class at Harlem" and "Ceremonies and Dark Ole Men"; Tonawanda Playhouse: "My Sweet Charlie"; and Studio Arena Theatre: "Lost in the Stars."

Survivors include his wife, Mae L. of Birmingham; three daughters, Proteon Buckman of Milwaukee, Glenda Ross and Dale McClain; three sons, George Jr., Reginald and Bernard; a stepdaughter, Priscilla Nation; three stepsons, Tommy of Los Angeles, Charlie of Coppell, Texas, and Ernest Nation of San Leandro, Calif.; and 21 grandchildren.

Services and burial were in Alabama.


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