Veteran actor Raymond Allen, best known for his recurring roles on iconic ’70s sitcoms such as “Sandford and Son,” passed away Monday, Aug. 10. The Kansas City, Missouri, native died of a non-COVID respiratory illness at a long-term care facility in California, according to Deadline. Allen was 91.
The announcement was made by Allen’s daughter Ta Ronce Allen in a Facebook post late Monday evening. The former child actress revealed that the family suffered a double loss Monday, as her cousin passed away on the same day. “Just wanted to let the Allen Family and friends know that Dad received his wing two hours ago,” she revealed. “His warmth, kind heart, and cleaver sayings will be missed. His laughter will ring in heaven. Rest In Heavenly Peace Raymond Allen. The last of 12 siblings.”
She added, “What a day this is been. I am so surrounded by love from friends and family. This has been one of the hardest days of my life I lost my father Raymond Allen and my cousin Deborah Doll (his niece). They are now both being held by the wings of angels.”
Allen made his acting debut in 1946 with the film “Fight That Ghost” as the character Fast Delivery Bill. In the mid-1970s, he appeared in “Mean Mother” and the blaxploitation comedy “Darktown Strutters.” However, he would cement his place in Hollywood with his role as Uncle Woodrow “Woody” Anderson, brother-in-law of Redd Foxx’s character Fred Sanford and long-suffering husband of LaWanda Page’s Aunt Esther.
The actor also appeared in another Norman Lear-created series, “Good Times,” as Ned the Wino, a neighborhood street character and friend of the series’ central Evans family. Both of Allen’s characters displayed the actor’s comic depiction of cheerful intoxication.
The star went on to have several appearances in “What’s Happening,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “The Love Boat,” and “The Jeffersons.” Allen’s final appearance came in the 1985 television movie “Gus Brown and Midnight Brewster.” Although the actor didn’t appear in any television or film project after 1985, reportedly due to an illness, Allen made public appearances to connect with his fan base.
Allen is survived by his daughters Ta Ronce and Brenda Allen.