If you’ve found yourself wondering what the cast of Sanford and Son looks like now, we regretfully discovered while researching just such a question that many of them are unfortunately no longer with us. Here however, we’ve put together a series of tributary photos of the cast of the groundbreaking classic sitcom as well as information about the many things they went on to do after the shows end.
So while we can’t promise photos of what the cast of Sanford and Son looks like now, we can show you photos of surviving cast member Demond Wilson and post-show photos of some of the main members of the cast, as well as get you up to date about the later parts of their extraordinary lives.
In case you’re not familiar with the classic sitcom, the show revolved around an L.A. junk dealer named Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) who spent much of his time hilariously grumbling with his Bible-thumping sister in law Ester (LaWanda Page) or coming up with disastrous schemes to strike it big with his pals Grady (Whitman Mayo) and Bubba (Don Bexley). All this of course to the bafflement of his son Lamont (Demond Wilson).
So come on in and see what the cast of Sanford and Son looks like now or what they did in their later years, when they went on to do everything from start their own shows to start a Christian prison rehabilitation program.
Red Foxx As Fred Sanford
Stand-up comic and actor Redd Foxx is still known by audiences around the world for his role as Fred Sanford on Sanford and Son, a groundbreaking sitcom at the time, due to the fact that it was one of the earliest programs to revolve around an American family. According to the L.A. Times , Foxx said “The show is lighthearted, doesn’t drive home a lesson, but it can open up peoples’ minds enough for them to see how stupid every kind of prejudice can be.”
When the show ended after five years on the air, he headed to ABC where he starred in “The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour” and later reprised the role of Fred in the 1980’s show “Sanford.” After his television career started to die down, Redd headed to Las Vegas where he made a return to live comedy. In 1989, he joined Eddie Murphy in “Harlem Nights,” though he struggled with financial problems involving the IRS around the same time.
By 1990 however, he was ready to take on television once again and joined the cast of a show called “The Royal Family.” It was while rehearsing for an episode of the show that Redd would suffer a heart attack and though rushed to the hospital, he passed away in October of 1991 in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 68.
Aside from his television roles, Redd is also remembered for his boundary-pushing live comedy, which helped pave the way for other stand-up comics such as George Carlin and Lenny Bruce.
Demond Wilson As Lamont Sanford
Aside from his work as Lamont Sanford on Sanford and Son, Demond has also starred in roles on TV shows such as “Baby I’m Back,” “The New Odd Couple,” and “Demond Wilson and Company.”
He’s also worked in the world of film, appearing in features such as “The Dealing,” “The Organization,” “Full Moon High,” “Me & the Kid,” and “Hammerlock”. In 1983, Demond make a radical shift in his life when he became a pastor and began spreading the gospel around the country and the world. In 1995, he founded Restoration House of America, a rehabilitation program for former prison inmates.
In addition, he even became a writer, authoring 11 children’s stories as well as two books entitled, “The New Age Millennium: An Expose of Symbols, Slogans and Hidden Agendas” and “Second Banana: The Bitter Sweet Memoirs of the Sanford and Son Years”.
LaWanda Page As Aunt Esther
Before becoming world famous for her role as Aunt Esther “Sanford and Son,” LaWanda was a professional dancer and eventually stripper who became famous for incorporating fire-swallowing into her act, which earned her the nickname, “The Bronze Goddess of Fire.” It was while she was working a series of black-owned nightclubs in St. Louis that she first met Redd Foxx, who was a local comedian at the time.
She first moved to Los Angeles in 1955 where she began preforming stand-up and would go on to be discovered years later at an L.A. nightclub by the producers for the upcoming “Sanford and Son.” Upon reuniting with his old friend, Foxx insisted that LaWanda be cast in the show and even threatened to walk if she wasn’t offered a role.
The series, which premiered in 1972 would make LaWanda into a household name and after it’s end went on to enjoy a number of appearances on various TV shows including “The Love Boat,” “Martin,” “Family Matters,” and “Diff’rent Strokes.” Her film credits include a number of hilarious spots on movies such as “Friday,” and “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.” She also appeared in a series of Church’s Chicken commercials, proclaimed the famous catchphrase,”Gotta love it!”
In September of 2002, she passed away due to diabetes complications at the age of 81, leaving behind an amazing legacy of comedy that will continue to produce smiles and laughter for generations to come.
Whitman Mayo As Grady Wilson
It was while working at the New Lafayette Theatre in the 1970’s that Whitman was offered the role of Grady Wilson, whose character name was based on that of Grady Demond Wilson, the actor who played Lemont. Whitman’s character even took the starring role for a few episodes of the show during which Redd Foxx took a hiatus due to a contract dispute. His character eventually even had his own spin-off show called “Grady,” though it turned out to be short lived and the character returned to the “Sanford and Son” cast in 1976.
Whitman later reprised the role of Grady on a 1977 spinoff called “Sanford Arms” and for two episodes on the 1981 spin-off “Sanford.” He also appeared in a number of guest star roles on shows such as “That’s Cat,” “The Heat of the Night,” a 1991 episode of “Full House,” and Nickelodean’s “Kenan and Kel” on which he portrayed Kenan’s Uncle Raymond. Whitman also went on to make appearances in several films such as “Boyz n the Hood,” Burt Reynolds’ “Waterproof” and “The Main Event.”
Whitman also became a teacher and taught drama at Clark Atlanta University, in addition to opening his own travel agency in Inglewood, CA. In 2001, Whitman passed away at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was survived by his wife Gail and his son, Rahn Mayo , went on to become a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 2009.
Don Bexley As Bubba Hoover
After playing Bubba Hoover on “Sanford and Son,” Don remained close friends with Redd Foxx until Redd’s passing in 1991. Don not only attended the Las Vegas funeral, but was even an honorary pallbearer for his longtime friend of nearly 50 years.
Throughout his career he also appeared on many other television shows such as “Cheers,” “Hunter,” and “Laverne and Shirley” and in the film “Sparkle.” He also made a special appearance on Redd’s show “The Royal Family.”
In 1989, Don received Support the Artists of America (STAA)’s “Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year” award and relocated to Hampton, Virginia during the 1990’s. Throughout his life, he remained active and was constantly coming up with new ideas for performances.
In April of 1997, Don passed away in Hampton, Virginia dude to heart and kidney failure at the ripe age of 87. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, as well as a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.