He is now a seasoned preacher who has a genuine passion for promoting the gospel of Christ. Previously known as an actor, Demond Wilson is a man who has seen it all. His highs and low moments have made him the influential man he is today. His career as a Hollywood actor was thriving when he suddenly changed gears and became an ordained preacher. This unusual move caught many people by surprise, so how has he been doing since the significant shift?
According to the Demond Wilson biography, the actor who became preacher was born on the 13th of October 1946. He was given the name Grady Demond Wilson. His birth took place in Valdosta, Georgia, but he was brought up in New York City. He would often visit his Pentecostal grandmother in Georgia over the summer holidays. He grew up in a staunch Catholic home. As a child, he engaged himself in church activities and even served as an altar boy. At the time, he contemplated becoming a Catholic priest. Today, the Demond Wilson age is 72 years old.
- Full name: Grady Demond Wilson (commonly known as Demond Wilson)
- Date of birth: 13th October 1946
- Place of birth: Valdosta, Georgia
- Marital status: Married
- Spouse: Cicely Johnston
- Nationality: American
- Ethnicity: Black American
- Height: 1.76 meters
- Profession: Actor, preacher and author
Early childhood and education
Actor Demond Wilson was enrolled in a school where he studied both ballet and tap dance. These classes incited his curiosity in the entertainment world. At the age of 4, he made his Broadway debut as a dancer. When he was only 12, he featured as a dancer in Harlem’s Apollo Theater. When he was 13, his appendix ruptured and placed him in a critical condition. He thought he would die. When he recovered from this scary ordeal, Demond Wilson swore to serve God in his adulthood.
Wilson grew to a height of 1.76 meters (5 feet 9 inches) in his prime. As of 1985, his weight was 87 kg (191.8 lbs). His weight today is unknown. Neither are details of his shoes size and size of clothes known by the public. He has, however, maintained a healthy-looking body over the years.
In 1966, Demond Wilson joined the United States Army. He had served in the 4th Infantry Division until 1968 when he was injured in Vietnam. After the wounding, he returned home where he was welcomed as a bejewelled veteran. Soon after recovering, he returned to the Broadway where he did several stage productions. He also featured in off-stage productions for a while. Afterwards, he made the big move to Hollywood where he was able to get different roles in the film and entertainment world. He made guest appearances in All in the Family and Mission: Impossible. He was also cast in various films, among them, the 1971’s The Organization and 1972’s Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues.
In the Hollywood scene, Wilson became famous after he landed the lead role of Lamont Sanford in the sitcom Sanford and Son. The sitcom ran from 1972 to 1977. Initially, Johnny Brown has been considered to take up the role due to his impressive performance in the show Laugh-In. Things changed when Wilson bagged the position, and Brown went ahead to star in a different role. Wilson’s fame increased in the show after Redd Foxx walked away in 1974 following a salary dispute with the producers. In 1977, the popular show was cancelled.
Sanford and Son allowed Wilson to establish close relationships with different cast members. He was particularly close to Foxx, and the pair maintained a good relationship even after Wilson refused to star as Lamont when Foxx tried to revive the sitcom. Foxx later died in 1991, and Wilson admitted that they had lost touch after the sitcom was cancelled in 1977. Regardless of the distance, Wilson admitted in this book Second Banana, Wilson’s memoir of the Sanford, that there had been no animosity between them.
Soon after Stanford and Son, Wilson was cast in the show Baby… I’m back by CBS corporation. He jumped on this opportunity because the contract would earn him a huge chunk of money. In this new show, he starred as Raymond Ellis. The show had not lasted long before it was cancelled. He later played the role of Oscar Madison alongside Ron Glass who was cast as Felix Unger in the sitcom The New Odd Couple by American Broadcasting Company (ABC). This was a remake of the original show that aired between 1970 and 1975 and starred Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1981, he was part of the film Full Moon High, Me and the Kid in 1993 and Hammerlock in 2000.
Wilson shocked the world when he, a seemingly top-notch performer in the entertainment world, called it quits to become a preacher. Preaching was his childhood dream that he had set aside for many years. In addition to preaching, he became a published author of numerous children’s books as well as books on Christianity. As an author, his name has on several occasions been misspelt as Desmond. This has since been corrected.
When questioned, Wilson asserts that preaching is not a career, but a noble calling. He was ordained as a church minister in 1984. He further states that he no longer has a thirst for acting, so he will not be re-joining the entertainment industry unless it is for Christian-based shows. Wilson founded the Demond Wilson Ministries in 1985. The headquarters are located in Laguna Hills, California. Over the years, he has stood in front of broad audiences to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 1995, Wilson founded a centre known as Restoration House. The facility’s primary goal is to rehabilitate former prisoners and assist them in becoming honest and hardworking citizens. This is achieved through vocational training, mentoring and spiritual guidance. To date, the institution has rehabilitated numerous former convicts.
Demond Wilson net worth
Wilson has been a jack of various trades in his lifetime. He is thus believed to have accumulated properties from his different professions. From his acting role in The New Odd Couple in 1982 and 1983, Wilson is said to have been receiving hefty weekly payments. From his calling as a preacher, it is hard to estimate the amount of wealth he has gathered. Similarly, what he has acquired from being an author is yet to be disclosed to the public. Nonetheless, Demond Wilson now has wealth whose worth stands at an estimated $1.5 million.
Marriage and family life
On the 3rd of May 1974, Wilson married Cicely Johnston. The couple has been married for four and a half decades now. In the marriage, Demond Wilson wife gave birth to 6 children who are now adults. The Demond Wilson children photos are difficult to obtain online because they lead quiet lives. The preacher has managed to keep details of his family life under wraps, so not much is known about his wife. She is, however, said to be formerly working as a stewardess and model. While she and the Demond Wilson children are rather private people, they are all successful in their respective fields.
Wilson has previously admitted that his marriage was rocky in his prime years. At the time, he was a substance addict who spent a lot of money each week on addictive substances. His use of these substances came along with a lousy company and a promiscuous lifestyle. He, on several occasions, cheated on his wife leading to a strain in the couple’s relationship. He says that the decision to go back to Christ and serve as a pastor saved his marriage. Since becoming a preacher, his marriage has been stable and enjoyable.
Is Demond Wilson still alive?
Rumours of Demond Wilson death began floating in the media after his exit from the public eye. From the pulpit, Demond Wilson today says that the rumours were misguided. He reports that his Hollywood life is dead, but his life as a Christian continues to thrive. He asserts that his exit from the limelight offered him a chance to reconnect with his family and to develop his character as a reformed creature. He is currently authoring, running his Restoration House, and preaching. All information about the Demond Wilson cause of death is, therefore, a hoax.
Media appearances as an ordained pastor
Over the years, Demond has appeared in the show Praise the Lord on Trinity Broadcasting Network, alongside Clifton Davis. In these special appearances, he has been preaching and encouraging people to become good Christians. He often refers to his past life during his preaching and uses his experiences to motivate people. He recently made a special appearance in the sitcom Girlfriends where he played Lynn’s biological dad in the UPN Network’s production. On the 30th of January 2009, he also appeared as Bill O’Reilly’s father in the O’Reilly Factor.
Wilson has also appeared in Christian productions. In 2011, he was cast alongside Nina Nicole in the play The Measure of a Man that was written by Matt Hardwick. The play is set in South Georgia and is categorised as a faith-based creation. In 2009, it was disclosed that Wilson would star in another religious production, Faith Ties. The film which was in the pre-production stage at the time was classified as a melodramatic family movie. It was set to be released in 2016, and the trailer is available on YouTube.
Presence on social media
Demond is not an avid social media user. He does not seem to have an Instagram page. His Facebook page that was last active in 2015 has over 5k followers. He also has a Twitter account that last sent out a tweet in 2015. It has over 1,300 followers.
Although it is hard to find Demond Wilson family photos, it is apparent that an actor then and a preacher and author now is a family man. Demon Wilson is famous for his role in Sanford and Son. Today, he is a seasoned preacher who is out to salvage souls for Christ. He continues to impact the world as a Christian and preacher. In the future, we hope to see more of his books and special appearances in faith-based films.