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Demond Wilson
Born Grady Demond Wilson
October 13, 1946 (1946-10-13) (age 63)
Valdosta, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, Producer, Author, Pastor
Years active 1968 - present
Spouse(s) Cicely Johnston (1974–present)

Grady Demond Wilson (born October 13, 1946) is an American actor, author and pastor. He was 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 & 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. Upon returning from Vietnam a decorated veteran in the late 1960s, Wilson was featured in several B'way and off B'way 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

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Sanford and Son (1972), other projects

Films Full Moon High 1978 Me and the kid 1992 Hammer-lock 2000 Later that year, The New York City-raised Wilson after appearing 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 Redd Foxx decided to throw in the towel in 1977. Another interesting fact about the show is that the character played by Whitman Mayo was named Grady Wilson. Grady Demond Wilson is Demond Wilson’s birth name. He would later bow out of the 1980 short-lived series revival. He did not attend Redd Foxx’s funeral in 1991 because he was in Africa at the time of Redd's death. Both on- and off- the set, Demond shared a close bond with Foxx, during the show's six season run.

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

Wilson later starred as divorcee 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 1970-74 series on the same network which starred Jack Klugman and the late 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 (such as "New Age Millennium")

Wilson has written several Christian books concerning the New Age Movement and its supposed 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. According to an interview on the Celebrity Care. 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.[3][4]

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 a good friend to 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).

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. 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 2010 release.[5]

Personal life

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

References

External links


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