Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Whitman Mayo

Whitman Mayo is most remembered by his signature role of Grady, in the sitcom, Sanford and Son. That character was one of many recurring roles on that show, but due to contract disputes with its star, Redd Foxx, the Grady character was thrown into the spotlight and was forced to carry many episodes during the latter part of the run.

Though Foxx was missed, it is clear by those many episodes, that Whitman Mayo could have been more than just a second banana. He kept a mainstream show afloat when its star went AWOL and fans will always remember and cherish his warm, humorous style.

And while the character of Grady gave him some instant recognition, it also typecast him for the rest of his career. He did appear in films like Boyz n the Hood, but Hollywood was reluctant to let him branch out. However he still managed to have a career in television appearing in many shows like Trapper John MD, Hill Street Blues and ER just to name a few.

This wonderful character actor is mostly forgotten today, but for a brief period in time he was a star and for many of us will always remain one, making Whitman Mayo my pick of the day for Not Very Famous...but should be.


  1. Both Whitman and LaWanda Page who played Esther became celebrities during the shows run. I remember both appearing in different films and TV series. Make hay while the sunshines because all too often your time in the spotlight is fleeting at best. Both were welcome additions to Sanford and Son. Too bad there aren't more of these corny but funny TV series anymore.

    1. Agreed, Tom. Like the old saying goes, they don't make 'em like that anymore.

  2. "Grady" was a consistent scene-stealer in "Sanford and Son". Both he and Mr. Mayo are missed, along with Bubba and Fred.