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Theodore Rosevelt "Teddy" Wilson (December 10, 1943 – July 21, 1991) was an American stage, film, and television actor. Wilson is best known for his recurring roles as Earl the Postman on the ABC sitcom That's My Mama, and Sweet Daddy Williams on the CBS sitcom Good Times.

Theodore Wilson
Theodore Wilson.jpg
Theodore Rosevelt Wilson

(1943-12-10)December 10, 1943
DiedJuly 21, 1991(1991-07-21) (aged 47)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other namesTeddy Wilson
Alma materFlorida A&M University
Years active1970–1991


Born in Harlem, New York City, Wilson studied music at Florida A&M University before switching to drama. Upon returning to New York, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company and later worked with the Arena Stage Repertory. He made his acting debut in the blaxploitation film, Cotton Comes to Harlem, in 1970. The following year, Wilson moved to Los Angeles. He made his television debut in a two-episode role as Hawthorne Dooley on the television series The Waltons. In 1973, Wilson was cast as High Strung on the CBS sitcom Roll Out. The series was cancelled after 12 episodes.[2] The following year, Wilson was cast as Earl Chambers, a postman on the ABC sitcom That's My Mama. That series was also short-lived and cancelled after two seasons.

In September 1976, Wilson signed with Tandem Productions, the production company owned by Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear who produced some of the most popular sitcoms of the 1970s. Wilson went on to guest star in several Yorkin/Lear-produced series including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, What's Happening!!, The Jeffersons, and 13 Queens Boulevard.[2] In 1976, Wilson was cast as Sweet Daddy Williams, a street hustler on the CBS sitcom Good Times. Wilson appeared as Sweet Daddy in a recurring role. In August 1977, it was announced that Wilson would star in a spin-off of the hit sitcom Sanford and Son called Sanford Arms. The series was intended to be a continuation of the highly popular Sanford and Son, which ended in March 1977 when both the series' stars, Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson, left the series. Wilson starred as Phil Wheeler, an Army veteran and widower who has purchased the Sanford Arms, a rooming house, from his old Army buddy Fred G. Sanford.[3] Upon its premiere in September 1977, Sanford Arms was critically panned and drew low ratings. It was cancelled after four episodes.

After the series was cancelled, Wilson made various guest appearances in episodes of The White Shadow (he also wrote a 1980 episode), Enos, Gimme a Break!, The Golden Girls, and What's Happening Now. In 1986, he had a role as Jim-Jam on another short-lived series, The Redd Foxx Show. Wilson continued to work throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, appearing in Alien Nation, Dallas, Family Matters, Tales from the Crypt, Gabriel's Fire, Mama's Family, and Quantum Leap. He was also featured in films The Hunter (1980), Blake Edwards' A Fine Mess, and That's Life! (both 1986). Wilson made his last onscreen appearance in Blood in Blood Out, a 1993 crime drama released after his death.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Wilson had two children with actress Joan Pringle. Pringle was named executrix of Wilson's estate when he died in 1991.[5]


On July 21, 1991, Wilson died of a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, at the age of 47.[1][4][5][6][7]


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Cotton Comes to Harlem Barry
1972 Come Back, Charleston Blue Cemetery Guard
1973 Cleopatra Jones Pickle (Doodlebug's hood)
1974 Newman's Law Lindy
1974 Black Eye Jaycee
1976 The River Niger Chips
1976 Gang Wars Black Spade
1977 The Greatest Joe, the Gardener Credited as Theodore R. Wilson
1977 Run for the Roses Flash
1978 Loose Shoes Elijah Abdoul Jamaal Muhammed Alternative titles: Coming Attractions
1980 Carny Nails
1980 The Hunter Winston Blue
1984 Weekend Pass Nat
1986 Big Trouble Porter
1986 Stewardess School Probation Officer
1986 A Fine Mess Covington
1986 That's Life! Corey
1987 Maid to Order Woodrow
1990 Genuine Risk Billy
1990 Penny Ante: The Motion Picture Willie
1991 Life Stinks Fumes Alternative title: Life Sucks
1992 The Vagrant X-Rays Released posthumously
1993 Blood In Blood Out Wallace Alternative title: Bound by Honor
Released posthumously, (final film role)
Year Title Role Notes
1972–1973 The Waltons Hawthorne Dooley 2 episodes
1973 The Partridge Family Sam Mulvoney Episode: "Hate Thy Neighbor"
1973 Roll Out High Strung 8 episodes
1974 M*A*S*H Warrant Officer Martin "Marty" Williams Episode: "The General Flipped at Dawn"
1974–1975 That's My Mama Earl Chambers 38 episodes
1975 Medical Story Hadley Television movie
1976 Baretta Flash Episode: "Pay or Die"
1976 Good Heavens Special Bingham Episode: "Jack the Ribber and Me"
1976–1979 Good Times Sweet Daddy Williams 7 episodes
1977 Phyllis Jimmy Carter Episode: "Boss or Buddy or Both or Neither"
1977 The Bionic Woman Warner Williams Episode: "Iron Ships and Dead Men"
1977 Sanford Arms Phil Wheeler 8 episodes
1977 Kojak Joe Penney Episode: "Once More from Birdland"
1977 Police Woman Harold Martin Episode: "Shadow of a Doubt"
1976-1978 What's Happening!! Al Dunbar/Marty/Mr. Wilson 4 episodes
1979 The Dukes of Hazzard Morgan Episode: "Route 7-11"
1979 The White Shadow Doug Buchanan Episode: "A Christmas Present"
1981 The Oklahoma City Dolls Tom Petree Television movie
1982 The Ambush Murders Jay King Television movie
1983 Amanda's Philip Oliver Episode: "Last of the Red Hot Brothers"
1985 A Bunny's Tale Older Club Employee Television movie
1985 Malice in Wonderland Collins Television movie
1985 What's Happening Now!! Mr. Lee/Bum 2 episodes
1985 The New Twilight Zone Henderson Segment: "Night of the Meek"
1985 Crazy Like a Fox Eddie 2 episodes
1986 "The Golden Girls" Diner Owner Episode "Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas (20 Dec. 1986)"
1986 227 Cousin Ray Episode: "We the People"
1986 The Redd Foxx Show Jim-Jam 5 episodes
1986 Easy Street Jackie Episode: "Be-Bop Man"
1987 The New Mike Hammer Booker Episode: "Body Shot"
1987 Cagney & Lacey Judge Charnas Episode: "Easy Does It"
1987-1988 You Can't Take It with You Durwood M. Pinner 3 episodes
1988 Annie McGuire Jordan Episode: "The Journey"
1988 The Golden Girls Ben Episode: "Brother, Can You Spare That Jacket?"
1989 Sweet Bird of Youth Fly Television movie
1989 Midnight Caller Quinton Oliver Episode: "Take Back the Streets"
1989 Alien Nation Dr. Roscoe Brennan 2 episodes
1989 The Munsters Today Louis Episode: "The Melting Pot"
1989-1990 Dallas Clem 2 episodes
1990 Beauty and the Beast Raymond Ensign Episode: "Legacies"
1990 Family Matters Captain Casper Davenport Episode: "Sitting Pretty"
1990 The New Adam-12 Street Artist Episode: "The Landlord"
1990 Quantum Leap Ernie Tyler / Jimmy Grady 2 episodes, "Rebel Without a Clue" & "Pool Hall Blues"
1991 Wings John Episode: "Plane Nine from Nantucket"


  1. ^ a b "Actor Theodore Wilson, 47, Dies Of Stroke In L.A." Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 80 (17): 56. August 12, 1991. ISSN 0021-5996.
  2. ^ a b "'Sanford and Son' Replacement Set". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Spokane, Washington. August 26, 1977. p. 23. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "New stars to shine in 'Sanford Arms'". Boca Raton News. Boca Raton, Florida. August 24, 1977. p. 8B. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Theodore Wilson dies; appeared on TV shows". The Hour. Norwalk, Connecticut. July 24, 1991. p. 31. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Actress Joan Pringle Will Oversee $40,000 Estate Of Late Actor Theodore Wilson". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 81 (3): 36. November 4, 1991. ISSN 0021-5996.
  6. ^ "Obituaries: Theodore Wilson, Actor, 47". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 25, 1991. Retrieved August 22, 2018. His sister-in-law, Naomi Pringle, said he had suffered a stroke.
  7. ^ "Theodore Wilson Dies, Television, Movie Actor". July 25, 1991. Retrieved April 3, 2016.

External linksEdit