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John Elroy Sanford] brother, Fred , portraying him as a sarcastic, streetwise, irascible schemer whose frequent get-rich-quick ideas routinely backfired. His son Lamont longs for independence, but loves his father too much to move out and leave the trouble-prone Fred unsupervised. Though each owns an equal share in the business technically Fred is the boss , Lamont often finds himself doing all the work and demanding his father complete tasks and duties, which he almost never does.
Fred often insults his son, usually calling him "dummy. When Lamont quits his new job and Fred fires the slacker, the two decide to reform their partnership, though each is too proud to admit they could not make it without the other.
According to Fred, his wife Elizabeth died around In a running gag in the series, during times of distress, Fred looks up as to heaven with his hand across his chest, faking a heart attack and saying, "This is the big one, Elizabeth! Fred raised Lamont alone and missed Elizabeth deeply. In one episode, Lamont asks why he did not have a middle name; Fred tells him that Lamont is his middle name: However, it was revealed in the third episode of the first season that Lamont was named "Lamont Grady Sanford.
Despite his stubbornness and irascible nature, Fred sometimes redeems himself with acts of kindness, even to those like Esther whom he insists he does not like.
In the last episode of the series, Fred earns his high school diploma, and is the valedictorian of his graduating class. Fred and Lamont also are depicted as being equally manipulative. Fred manipulates with constant threats of "the big one" and avoids manual labor due to his " arthur-itis ". Lamont Sanford[ edit ] Demond Wilson played Lamont Sanford, who is depicted at times as the greedier of the two.
In one episode, for example, he refuses to sell two coffins for less than what he thinks they were worth, despite the fact that even possessing them upsets his superstitious father. One example of this is the time Lamont is upbraided by a Nigerian woman who considers his attitude towards Fred to be disrespectful.
There are moments when Lamont is shown to be naive and foolish, such as the episode where he invites his new "friends" over to play poker. His street-savvy father immediately recognizes that they are card sharps , out to cheat Lamont after they gain his confidence by letting him win a few smaller-stakes games.
After Lamont has lost all of his money, Fred turns the tables on the scammers by pretending to be ignorant of poker himself, agreeing to play a few hands and then taking all of their money by means of a marked deck of cards and special glasses that allow him to see what he is dealing. A similar predicament befalls Lamont in the second season when he gets involved in an unethical deal by purchasing a possibly valuable Regency commode from a woman for a rock-bottom price, then selling it back to her husband at double the price.
He then takes an offer from a third party for quadruple that price while Fred tries over and over again to warn him that he is doing something immoral. Lamont becomes so angry that he threatens to lock Fred in his bedroom. One constant with Lamont particularly in the second season is that he is always trying to find new ways to move up in the world and away from the junk business, like his British counterpart Harold Steptoe played by Harry H. In the first episode, he buys a possibly valuable piece of porcelain from an elderly woman in Beverly Hills with the intention of selling at auction.
However, Fred messes things up at the auction, and Lamont ends up buying the piece back from himself. In the second season, Lamont buys a war rifle from the American Revolution at an auction with the intent to sell it for thousands. In a panic, Lamont melts the gun down before realizing that the neighbor was just out of town. In one episode, he attempts to become an actor, Lamont and Rollo answer an ad for wannabe black film actors for an independent film company only to realize that it is really a pornographic film factory.
In another episode, he answers an ad to travel around the world working on a tramp steamer, which would mean putting Fred in a nursing home, but Fred tricks him into not going. During the third season, Lamont attempts to open a side business with Julio, selling used automobile parts.
The Way to Lamont's Heart - Sanford and Son S03E23 | TVmaze
Fred is so upset that he leaves and moves into a flop house. Lamont eventually convinces Fred to come home, but whether or not he left the new business venture never is addressed. At the end of the night, he becomes so angry that he abandons Fred at the restaurant, leaving his father to walk home in the rain.
His attitude towards Fred would soften by mid-season as episodes tended to focus more on the two working together to solve a problem, as when several bill collectors converged on the house threatening to repossess their belongings.
He would change throughout the series and become a man dedicated to his work and to his father, but also who would try new things and new ideas to better himself, such as when he attempts to embrace his African heritage or later when he tries to run for state assemblyman.
In a later episode, however, Lamont invites Donna to dinner with himself and his girlfriend, remarking that it would do his reputation good to be seen with "two lovely ladies. As the series progressed, Fred got into increasingly ludicrous situations, such as faking an English accent to get a job as a waiter, convincing a white couple that an earthquake was really the " Watts Line" of the then-nonexistent L.
One constant throughout the show is the loyalty of father and son to each other. Lamont gets homesick and worries about his father, or something does not work out and Lamont schemes his way back in, Lamont feels lonely without his father around the house thanks to a plan Fred hatched with his friend Bubba, etc. In the humorous twist that closes the episode, it turns out the friend had actually slept with Aunt Esther, thinking she was her sister Elizabeth.
However, in a season five episode called "Ebenezer Sanford", Lamont says his birthday is in February. Esther is a staunchly religious Baptist who finds little use for humor, though she is kind and loving towards Lamont. Fred and Esther dislike each other intensely. Her usual reaction to his antics is to scowl and exclaim "watch it, sucka! When leaving the Sanford home, she often exclaims "oh glory! Woodrow eventually became sober so he and Esther could adopt a young orphan, played by Eric Laneuville.
Fred and Esther called a temporary truce, of sorts, in the episode "My Fair Esther.
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Lamont would often correct him with a bogus name like Lucas or Lance. When Foxx refused to appear in several episodes due to a contract dispute, Grady became the central character, watching over the business and Lamont while Fred was "away" on vacation in St.
Bubba is known for his infectious belly-laugh and jovial personality. Bubba is primarily a straight man to set up punchlines for Fred. His loud greeting of "Hey Fred! Fred will often make disrespectful remarks towards Rollo, usually stating that he thinks Rollo is a criminal, as Rollo had spent time in jail.
At one time, when Rollo introduced Lamont to his African cultural heritage, Fred thought it was a scam and noted that "If there was money to be made, Rollo would become an Eskimo". She is employed as a practical nurse. Lamont, being the overprotective son, mistrusts Donna at first branding her as "The Barracuda" , but by Season 6 has completely warmed to her. Eventually, Esther warms to her as well. When Julio and his family move in next to the Sanfords, Fred takes an immediate dislike to them and remarks, "There goes the neighborhood.
In the fifth season, Julio moves away. The Sanfords buy his former home and convert it into a boarding house named the Sanford Arms. Fred actually befriends Ah Chew in a later episode because he wants to use him as a cook when he opens "Sanford and Rising Son", a Japanese restaurant in the Sanford house.
Despite this arrangement, Fred still hurls verbal abuse at Ah Chew. In "The Reverend Sanford", comic Freeman King appears as a police officer named Jim, presumably standing in for Smitty, but without Hoppy or any other partner.
Swanny is basically the same as Hoppy, but his demeanor is much more serious and humorless. Like Hoppy, Swanny never is insulted racially by Fred. She is a retired store detective who rents a room at the Sanford Arms next door. Landlord Fred often insults her when she pays a visit.
Much like her son, Mrs. Hopkins incorrectly uses jive slang, but the more experienced Hoppy corrects her. Janet Larson Marlene Clark is a divorcee Lamont begins dating in the fifth season. Janet also has a young son, Roger Edward Crawford.
He appears in one second-season episode as well. They appear in the second and third seasons. When they first meet, Hutch admits to serving a lengthy sentence in prison to avoid his ugly sister-in-law.
This immediately endears him to Fred. He appears in the fifth season. Frank Nelson appears as various comic foils to Fred in the fifth and sixth seasons using his catchphrase , "Yeeees?
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He often enters the Sanford residence with an alarming cough and his credentials as a doctor are questionable. The other days I work in the post office. Davis James Wheaton is a mortician who dropped by the Sanford residence several times in the second season, at one point to look at some caskets that Lamont picked up an auction. With a deep voice and a spooky laugh, he would often make odd quips in reference to his unusual profession: The running joke was that every time he officiated a wedding for the Sanford family, the family usually ended up in a screaming match over petty disagreements which escalated into a war that left everyone fleeing the house in anger while the Reverend stood by in stunned silence.