Demond Wilson played the part of Lamont Sanford on the NBC-TV series Sanford and Son.
|Birthname:||Grady Demond Wilson|
|Born:||October 13, 1946|
|Birthplace:||Valdosta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Actor, Christian author, speaker, evangelist|
|Spouse(s):||Cicely Johnston, 1974-present|
|Sanford and Son|
|Episodes appeared in:||134 of 135 episodes from Seasons 1-6|
|Character(s) played:||Lamont Sanford|
Early life and career
A talented actor who is now also a Christian author and evangelist, Demond was born in Valdosta, Georgia, and raised in Long Island, New York. 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 U.S. Army from 1966–1968 and was in the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he was wounded. 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, Wilson, after appearing as a robber on All in the Family with the late Cleavon Little, won the role of Lamont Sanford, beating out several hopefuls for the part, which included comedian/actor Johnny Brown, who went on to fame playing the part of "Nathan Bookman", the apartment custodian on the hit CBS-TV series "Good Times", which was also co-produced by Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear. 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.
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.
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. 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.
Recent TV and film appearances & projects
Wilson has also made numerous guest appearances on the Praise The Lordprogram 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 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.
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.
Wilson has been married to the former Cicely Louise Johnston since May 3, 1974. Together they have six children.
- Demond Wilson reference listed at Trivia Tribute website
- Demond Wilson bio at Celebrity Nooz.com
- Demond Wilson bio reference at Google Books
- Demond Wilson / 2nd Banana: Bittersweet Memories of Sanford & Son Years official website
- Demond Wilson interview at Celebrity Cafe
- The Measure of a Man homepage, accessed 2011-07-16.
- The Measure of a Man Stage Play official website, retrieved 28 Nov., 2011
- Faith Ties film at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb, with more details at IMDbPro)