Former American actor Demond Wilson gave a lasting impression through his performances in his active acting years. His most notable works are 'Sanford and Son,' Baby, 'I'm Back,' and 'The New Odd Couple.' Even though he is not active on-screen anymore, he works as a pastor and is inspiring many through his life's testimony and how God saved and helped him during his struggle with life.
"The Girlfriends" Star Married For Many Years
The legendary American actor is in matrimony with his wife, Cicely Loise Johnston. His partner Cicely is a former stewardess who later turned into a model.
Demond and Cicely tied the knot in the presence of their family and friends on May 03, 1974. If you can do the math, then the couple has been married for over forty-five years, which is an astonishing number and exemplary for many.
Blessed With Many Kids
The "Me and the Kid" actor shares six kids with his lovely partner. He has four daughters (one daughter's name is still under the radar), Nicole Wison, Melissa Wilson, Sarah Louise Wilson, and two sons, Christopher Wilson, Demond Jr. Wilson.
While most of his kids' whereabouts and information are still not disclosed, his youngest daughter Sarah is following in her father's footsteps and is working as a director and producer.
Demond is not active on social media, and although he has a Facebook account, it has been many years since he last posted anything on it. In a 2015 interview, he stated that he is a grandfather to three grandchildren and "is living a very quiet, productive life." Let's hope he is still doing fine!
The Veteran Actor's Transition From Troubled Relationship And Drug Addict Life To Renewed Life
When Wilson was 13, his appendix ruptured, which almost killed him. At that time, he made a vow with God that if He allowed him to live, he would somehow serve the Lord as an adult in ministry by doing his works.
In 1966, he served in the United States Army and was in the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. During the war, he was wounded, and he returned home as a decorated veteran in 1968.
Upon returning, he decided to work on Broadway and appear in "Mission: Impossible" and "All in the Family," and a few other films. Before one audition, the actor made his second promise to God and prayed, "If I get this part, it will bring fame, and if I get it, I will do this for 15 years, and then I'll serve You."
The 1.75 meters tall man did secure the role and which paved him the way him to feature in other on-screen works. Fast forward fifteen years later, Demond became a ordained minister in 1984, and in doing so, he fulfilled his vows to God.
Shaky Marriage and Drug Addiction
Demon Wilson's life in the 1970s was living a dream life. He married a beautiful lady in the mid-1970s, had a flourishing career earning thousands of dollars every appearance, along with a luxurious 27-room antique-filled house in Beverly Hills, and holder of a fancy car like Rolls-Royce, so, it seemed everything was going out well for him.
But little did people knew that was not the case; he was a cocaine addict and spent $1,000 a week in drugs alone, which is almost $7,000 in today's money.
In an interview, the man said:
"I had gotten to a point in my life where I was spiritually low and I’d tried just about everything else…I had fallen away from the Lord. Before I came to California, I was on heroin. When I came from Vietnam I was on heroin. I did a film in Canada for Warner Brothers called “The Dealing” and I was on it then."
Wilson also said, buying his first house, car, and things all seem exciting and thrilling, but after they wore off, he faced reality, and the reality was that life is empty.
"The Organization" actor also further told:
"I had worked all of those years, gearing myself for stardom but the thing that I failed to do was to have a life. I barely knew my wife and children."
Wison felt a deep void inside his heart, and he felt everything was over for him.
In May 1982, the former actor's wife was in a hospital, and the nearest neighbors lived half a mile away, and in spite of all his wealth, he felt alone. Then Wilson recalled he prayed, "Lord Jesus if you put my family back together, if you give me my mind back, I'll turn it around."
And he said: "God spoke to my heart and said, What will you do for me? and I said, Lord, what would you have me do? I wanted the covenant, this contract, and I signed it with my spirit and my heart."
Over six months, Demond's life completely transformed, and he devoted himself to God and became fixated with his newfound beliefs. In 1984, he sold his Beverly Hills home and relocated his spouse and kids to a smaller place on a lake in Orange County.
In his newfound life, the pastor revealed that he now neither drink, smoke, or dance and proclaimed, "I went from sinner to saved by grace, the old Demond Wilson is dead."
In 1995, he founded the Restoration House of America, which works in rehabilitation for ex-convicts and prison inmates. Wilson stated that he ministers to men who have not done anything really bad but just made mistakes.
Upon asked what it felt like leaving the glamour industry, he replied:
"God took me out of this world. He refined me and took my mind out of acting. I didn't have the desire to be in it anymore."
He further went to say "On your own, you can't make the transition, I questioned it, too. God makes you a new person. He said, 'Just be patient - I'll show you how."
Besides in church, these days, Demond often speaks on radio shows and podcasts and says, nothing can compare to the feeling he gets when he's preaching, "When I stand up and minister, I can minister until I turn into a puddle of perspiration and the spirit of God will just renew me." the former actor turned pastor also told, "Some people say 'Well, it is not my job to reach the lost' and it absolutely is."
Net Worth And On-Screen Performances
From his successful career in the acting field, Demond Wison has accumulated a net worth of $1.5 million, as of 2019. In contrast, another pastor and author Toure Roberts also holds a net worth of $1 million.
The talented actor worked in over a dozen big and small screens combined, but nothing can top his success and performance than in the American series "Sanford and Son." He played one of two main cast members of Lamont Sanford other being played by late actor John Elroy Sanford, aka Redd Foxx, with whom he had great chemistry both on and off the camera and whom he considered his mentor as well.
Check out the clip of Demond Wilson starred sitcom series, Sanford and Son!
Airing six-season and 136 episodes, the series featured other actors like Gregory Sierra, Whitman Mayo, Nathaniel Taylor, Don Bexley, and others.
The legendary actor is also popular for playing the role of Raymond Ellis in the CBS sitcom "Baby, I'm Back." In the series, he starred alongside Denise Nicholas, Helen Martin, Kin Fields.
Author To Numerous Books
Apart from ministering and preaching, Demond is also author to several books. His books are; "Second Banana The Bitter Sweet Memoirs of the Sanford & Sons years" (Price= $155), "Lil' Mowande, John Neuman Smith," "The New Age Millennium: An Expose of Symbols, Slogans and Hidden Agendas" (Price= $10.92), "Mr. Fish Takes a Wife. Wilson," moreover, has written 11 children stories, two screenplays, and a sitcom.
Quick Facts: Demond Wilson
- Demond Wilson was born in Valdosta, Georgia, and grew up in New York City.
- He studied tap dance and ballet from his young age.
- The army veteran made his Broadway debut at a tender age of four.
- He was an altar boy and used to spend summer with his Pentecostal grandmother in Georgia.
- The 73-years-old's debut movie is "All in the Family" (1971).
- After departing from acting, he appeared in a few screen performances in Hammerlock (2000) and played the four episodes in the sitcom "Girlfriends."
- In 2010, he began his work to produced and acted in the melodramatic family film based on the play "Faith Ties."
- Demond is not related to late comedian, Flip Wilson.
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