Actor Demond Wilson has done a lot of work on TV and in film but he’s still best known for his role opposite Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford’s long-suffering son, Lamont Sanford, in the 1970s’ NBC sitcom Sanford and Son.
His second book, Second Banana: The Bittersweet Memories of the Sanford & Son Years has just been released. Born in Georgia, Wilson grew up in Harlem but now lives in Palm Springs.
After Sanford and Son, Wilson, now 68, played in a few TV shows and then became a minister/evangelist. He says when fans recognized him and say “Hey dummy,” as though he’s still in character as Lamont, he doesn’t mind.
“They related to the character. People still yell ‘Meathead’ at Rob Reiner, people still yell ‘Yo Rocky’ at Sylvester Stallone, I really don’t mind. My youngest daughter’s about to receive her master’s [degree] she just got her first Mercedes. I have three grandchildren and I live a very quiet, productive life. I have two books out. I have some children’s books coming out.”
As for how he got his now famous role on Sanford and Son, he says it’s because of an Emmy-nominated appearance on the hit 70’s show All In The Family with the late Cleavon Little.
“Life is not always sweet but it’s bitter also,” Wilson says. “The relationship that Redd and I had was no different than a marriage. Sometimes the bitter outweighs the sweet. We were forerunners. We went from dressing in the men’s room at NBC to the HNIC’s. We were the #1 show on NBC and they had a lot of powerhouses. Laugh In, Johnny Carson, but Redd and I went to the top and we were the #1 show for the better part of five years. Redd said it was the National Black Company.”
It’s reported that Foxx died broke, but Wilson says that he’s doing just fine.
“I’m good. My shows are shown in 40 countries, my books are selling around the world and I’ve done several movies and I get residuals. And I get 10 grand for a speaking engagement. So I’m cool.”
You can buy Wilson’s book Second Banana: The Bittersweet Memories of The Sanford and Son Years HERE.
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