Demond Wilson is probably the most famous person who has completely abandoned a flourishing and growing career in Hollywood to concentrate on what he believes to be a more worthy substance – being a preacher.
The American was a phenomenal actor who was much admired for his portrayal of Lamont Sanford, Raymond Ellis, Oscar Madison, and Agent Schamper in NBC’s Sanford and Son (1972 – 1977), CBS’ Baby… I’m back! (1978) ABC’s The New Odd Couple (1982 – 1983) and Dan Curtis directed the comedy-drama film Me and the Kid in 1993.
It was quite a shock when it turned out that Wilson was giving up his flourishing acting career to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a preacher. Nonetheless, the man claimed that his decision to become a pastor was not to pursue a dream, but rather a response to a vocation. In his opinion, God called him away from the film industry and refined him to preach the gospel of Christ. On several occasions, he has emphasized that there is no longer a will to act in him. In 1984 he has ordained a pastor.
Biography and Age
Demond celebrates his birthday every 13 October. He was born Grady Demond Wilson that day in 1946. Although his birthplace was in Valdosta, Georgia, he grew up in New York City. It is said that his parents raised him a Catholic. In the early days of his life, Demond was interested in church activities; he served as an altar boy and even toyed with the idea of becoming a priest.
However, since he studied tap dancing and ballet, he was attracted to the entertainment industry. Records show that he made his Broadway debut when he was only 4 years old. Later, Demond served in the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam before venturing into acting.
Demond Wilson is not only an ex-actor and preacher but also a writer. He has written a handful of Christian books and many children’s books.
Demond Wilson’s Net Worth
The good thing about multiple professions is that you can accumulate wealth from different sources. So it would be difficult for one to go bankrupt or have any reason to file for bankruptcy. It would not be wrong to say that this is the case with Demond Wilson.
While we can’t say for sure that he has made money from his efforts as a pastor – because being a man of God is not a profitable business venture – it is obvious that the man has made a fortune with the books he has written, and with his acting career, his film projects and other unknown business ventures. Between 1982 and 1983 he earned up to $40,000 a week playing a leading role as Oscar Madison in the ABC sitcom The New Odd Couple.
Now while it is common to find that the man has a net worth of $1.5 million, it is important to note that this is only an estimate of the value of his wealth and does not reflect the exact value of Demond’s assets.
His Wife and Children
Demond Wilson has been the husband of Cicely Loise Johnston for over four decades. It is common knowledge that his marriage to Cicely officially began on May 3, 1974, and was blessed with six children.
From what we have learned, Wilson was addicted to cocaine before becoming a pastor. He spent up to $1,000 a week on coke, and this came with a lifestyle that made it difficult for him to be faithful to his wife. He cheated on her badly, and that put a lot of strain on their marriage. Demond’s decision to become a pastor not only saved him from the devastating consequences often associated with the way he lived his life but also saved his marriage.
Much is not known about his wife. Apart from the fact that she was acknowledged as his wife and the mother of his children, all that is known is that she was once a stewardess and later became a role model.
Is Wilson Dead or Alive?
The only thing that is dead about Demond Wilson is his past Hollywood high life. As he often expressed, the old man in him died when he embraced Jesus and became a preacher. Apart from that, any report of his death is a hoax. Demond is alive and well, living away from the public eye and taking care of the affairs of his Restoration House, a rehabilitation center he founded in 1995 to help former inmates and help them turn their lives around for the better.