Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$2.5 Million
Oct 13, 1946 (77 years old)
United States of America
💰 Compare Grady Demond Wilson's Net Worth

What is Grady Demond Wilson's net worth?

Grady Demond Wilson is an American actor, author, and pastor who has a net worth of $2.5 million. Demond Wilson is best known for starring as Lamont Sanford on the series "Sanford and Son." He appeared in 135 of the show's 136 episodes, alongside Redd Foxx, between 1972 and 1977. Demond then went on to star in one season of a show called "Baby… I'm Back!" on CBS, for which he was paid $1 million in 1977.

Early Life

Grady Demond Wilson was born in Valdosta, Georgia on October 13, 1946. At the age of six, Demond's appendix ruptured and almost killed him. From that point on he vowed to serve God as an adult in a ministry role.

Demond's performing career began when he was very young. At the age of four he danced in a Broadway show and at 12 he was in a production at the Apollo Theater.

Wilson served in the US Army for two years, from 1966 to 1968. He was wounded and returned home a highly decorated veteran.

Upon returning from the war, Demond appeared in a number of off-Broadway shows and made a handful of guest appearances on TV shows like "All in the Family" and "Mission: Impossible."

Sanford and Son

In 1972 Wilson landed the role that would make him a household name, that of Lamont Sanford in "Sanford and Son."

The series starred Redd Foxx as Fred G. Sanford, a cantankerous junk dealer living at 9114 South Central Avenue in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and Demond as his son Lamont Sanford. In the show, Fred moved to South Central Los Angeles from his hometown St. Louis during his youth.

The show was known for its edgy racial humor, running gags, and catchphrases, such as Fred's signature "You big dummy!" The series was also praised for its positive portrayal of African-Americans, and it helped to break down stereotypes about the black community.

Sanford and Son was a ratings success, and it was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1970s. The show won three Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 1973. It was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards.

Sanford and Son ran 136 episodes over six seasons. It has remained popular in syndication, and it is considered to be one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

Redd Foxx Salary Dispute

In the middle of taping episodes for the 1973-1974 season, Redd Foxx walked off the show, citing health issues but really it was a salary dispute. Writers wrote his character off for that season's six remaining episodes.

Up to that point Redd Foxx was earning $19,000 per episode. There were 24 or 25 episodes per season in seasons 2-6. Earning $19,000 per episode in 1973 is the same as earning $130,000 per episode today. It worked out to around $500,000 per year, roughly $3.5 million in today's dollars.

The show's production company fought back with a $10 million lawsuit, but the issue was eventually resolved. In the resolution, Redd's salary was increased to $25,000 per episode AND he was given a 25% cut of producers' net profits. The deal made him the highest-paid actor on television at the time.

In 1977 Redd was hired by rival network ABC to do a variety show called "The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour." The move, combined with Sanford's declining ratings, caused NBC to cancel Sanford and Son.

Redd Foxx tried to get Demond to appear in a short-lived sitcom "Sanford" (which ended up airing just two seasons from 1980 to 1981) but he declined.

Demond Wilson would later reveal that he was upset to have learned of Redd's decision to effectively leave Sanford not from Redd personally, but from a newspaper reporter. He forgave Foxx, but only saw him once more before Foxx died in 1991. That final meeting occurred in 1983 when Demond was asked to partake in a 50th Anniversary Special dedicated to Foxx. They had not spoken since 1977 and met briefly about the Special. Demond ultimately declined to participate.

Grady Demond Wilson

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Baby… I'm Back

Upon the cancellation of Sanford and Son, Demond signed a $1 million contract with CBS to star in a comedy series called "Baby… I'm Back!." Earning $1 million in 1977 is the same as making around $5 million in today's dollars. "Baby… I'm Back!" aired just 13 episodes in a single season.

From 1982 to 1983 he starred as Oscar Madison in the TV series The New Odd Couple. From 2004 to 2005 he had a recurring role as Kenneth Miles in the series Girlfriends. Wilson also starred in the movies Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues, Full Moon High, Me and the Kid, and Hammerlock.

Personal Life and Books

Staying true to his childhood promise, Demond Wilson is an ordained minister. He founded a charity called Restoration House in 1995. He has made numerous appearances on Christian TV programs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

He has authored Christian books, children's book, and in 2009 a memoir called "Second Banana: The Bittersweet Memoirs of the Sanford & Son Years."

Demond and former model Cicely Johnston married in May 1974. They have six children.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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