Ted Williams Mug Shots Tell the Story, Until Today
On Monday, a simple YouTube video of a panhandling homeless man was viewed 300 times. By Thursday, the video of the man “with a golden voice” had over 7.5 million hits.
Suddenly discovered and famous, with visits to the Today Show, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, and Ellen, Ted Williams, the name behind the voice, was by all accounts very lucky. A well-spoken man in his fifties with a history of drug abuse and troubles with the law, Williams has been homeless since the early nineties, when he lost his job and could no longer contend with living in society.
Starting with his first arrest in 1995, his rap sheet grew through the years, with mug shots showing a gaunt and unkempt Williams. His arrest record is littered with a litany of thefts, forgery, drug possession, robbery and escape.
Since the story broke, Williams has been deluged with offers from the likes of the Cleveland Cavalier’s basketball team, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, a multitude of voice-over offers from as far away as Hawaii, and an unexpected role to portray Wolf Man Jack in an upcoming movie.
Williams has already accepted the offer from the Cavaliers to be the team’s announcer, where along with salary, the team is offering a home mortgage. His own home, after all these years in homeless shelters, jail or a $5 tent he shared with his friend Vick, seems almost inconceivable to Williams. Not without a sense of humor, he joked that they were going to give him (LeBron) James’s old house.
It’s a rags-to-riches story that we all want to hear, hoping for his ultimate success, but with a background in addiction, the outcome is uncertain. Appearing on the Today Show, while speaking with a show-provided therapist, he asked, "Is there something I can take for my nerves?” Quickly realizing that, with his addictive behavior, this was not an option, the psychologist recommended he “meditate, not medicate.”
Williams, who hasn't seen his mother in over twenty years, was reunited with her for an emotional reunion on the Today Show, where he introduced the show with the trademark, "From NBC News, this is Today, live from studio 1A." Welcome back to broadcasting, Mr. Williams.