Demond Wilson

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Demond Wilson

Demond Wilson (left) (as Lamont Sanford) with Redd Foxx (bottom right) (as Fred Sanford) in 1972
BornGrady Demond Wilson
(1946-10-13) October 13, 1946 (age 65)
Valdosta, Georgia, U.S.
OccupationActor, Producer, Author, Pastor
Years active1968–2005
SpouseCicely Johnston (1974–present)
Children6
 
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Demond Wilson

Demond Wilson (left) (as Lamont Sanford) with Redd Foxx (bottom right) (as Fred Sanford) in 1972
BornGrady Demond Wilson
(1946-10-13) October 13, 1946 (age 65)
Valdosta, Georgia, U.S.
OccupationActor, Producer, Author, Pastor
Years active1968–2005
SpouseCicely Johnston (1974–present)
Children6

Grady Demond Wilson (born October 13, 1946) is an American actor, author, and pastor. He is best known for his role opposite Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford's long-suffering son, Lamont Sanford, in the 1970s’ NBC-TV sitcom Sanford and Son.[1] [2]

Contents

Early life and career

Wilson was born in Valdosta, Georgia. At the age of 12, Wilson's appendix ruptured, almost killing him. At that time the young Wilson vowed to somehow serve God as an adult in some ministry capacity. Wilson served in the US Army from 1966–1968 and was in the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam where he was wounded.[3] Upon returning from Vietnam a decorated veteran in the late 1960s, Wilson was featured in several Broadway and Off Broadway stage productions before moving to Hollywood where he performed guest roles on several television series such as Mission: Impossible and All in the Family and acted in films such as The Dealing (1970) and The Organization (1971).

Sanford and Son (1972), other projects

Later that year, the New York City-raised Wilson, after appearing as a robber on All in the Family with the late Cleavon Little, won the role of Lamont Sanford. Wilson played Lamont through the run of the series, and in fact became the de facto star when Redd Foxx walked off the show in 1974 and his character was written out for the rest of the season. Foxx returned the following year and the pair worked together until 1977.

Wilson also appeared in the films Full Moon High (1981), Me and the Kid (1993), and Hammer-Lock (2000).

Baby, I'm Back (1978), and The New Odd Couple (1982)

Wilson later starred as divorcé Raymond Ellis in the short-lived CBS-TV comedy series Baby, I'm Back and as Oscar Madison, opposite actor Ron Glass (who co-starred as Felix Unger) in the ABC TV sitcom The New Odd Couple, a revamped black version of the original 1970-75 series on the same network which starred Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.

Ministerial work

In 1984, Wilson became an ordained minister, fulfilling his childhood vow. Later, in 1995, he founded Restoration House, a center that helps rehabilitate former prison inmates by providing mentoring, spiritual guidance and vocational training.

Literary works

Author of Christian books

Wilson has written several Christian books concerning the New Age Movement and its hidden dangers to society. New Age Millennium by Wilson was released by CAP Publishing & Literary Co. LLC on December 1, 1998. (Demond's first name is misspelled "Desmond" on some book selling websites.) Wilson, who has also authored numerous children's books, stated the book to be an "exposé" of certain New Age "symbols and slogans".

Second Banana: book about Sanford & Son TV show

Wilson has also authored the book Second Banana: The Bittersweet Memoirs of the Sanford & Son Years, which was scheduled for release on August 31, 2009.[dated info] According to an interview on the CelebrityCafe.com website, Wilson said: "It's just a documented truth, behind the scenes factual account of what happened during those years. Redd (Foxx) and I were making history back in those days. We were the first blacks to be on television in that capacity and we opened the door for all those other shows that came after us." The book can be purchased at its official website.[4][5][6]

Recent TV and film appearances & projects

Wilson has also made numerous guest appearances on the Praise The Lord program aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and is a good friend of Clifton Davis. He has also appeared as a guest star on the UPN Television Network sitcom Girlfriends, playing Lynn's biological father, and Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor (1/30/09).

In summer of 2011 Wilson started appearing with actress Nina Nicole in a touring production of the play The Measure of a Man by playwright Matt Hardwick. The play is described as "a faith-based production" and is set in a small town in south Georgia.[7]

Faith Ties film project

Wilson is slated to appear in a melodramatic family film titled Faith Ties, made in the genre of the classic Frank Capra film It's A Wonderful Life. Says Wilson of the project: "It's kind of like that. I play a broken down old drunk whose wife and daughter are killed and he's given up on life. His only friend is a talking scorpion named Adonis. The protagonist is a pastor who is in the middle while he watches the lives of people crumbling around him. It's a wonderful story." The film, which was still in pre-production as of early 2009, is scheduled for a fall 2016 release.[8]

Personal life

Wilson has been married to the former Cicely Louise Johnston since May 3, 1974. Together they have six children.

References

External links