Lynn Hamilton is a veteran Hollywood actress, who was active in the entertainment industry between 1959 and 2009 – five decades! Lynn is perhaps still most popular for portraying the character of Donna Harris, Fred’s fiancee in “Sanford and Son” from 1972 through 1977. She is now retired, but many of her fans are curious as to Lynn’s present condition. Keep reading to find out.
Early Life, Family, Educational Background
Lynn Hamilton was born under the Taurus zodiac sign on 25 April 1930, in Yazoo City, Mississippi USA, to an African American couple, Nancy and Louis Hamilton. Therefore she holds American nationality, and is a descendant of African ancestors.
There are sparse details of Lynn’s early life and family background – it’s uncertain if she had siblings or not, however, she was born into a devout Christian home, and continues to practice the same religion to date.
At 12 years old, Lynn and her parents relocated to Chicago Heights, Illinois USA, where they lived until Lynn left to pursue her career. She matriculated from Bloom High School, Chicago Heights, subsequently going on to study acting at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago’s Loop.
In her 90 years on Earth, Lynn Hamilton has only ever been recognized as an actress.
She kicked-off her acting career at the community theatre in Chicago, but made her Broadway debut in 1959, appearing in the play “Only in America”, and has since featured in many other drama productions on and off-Broadway.
Lynn Hamilton made her screen debut as a party girl in “Shadows” (1958), then also took the uncredited role of Mrs. Thompson in “The New Girl” (1960). Subsequently, she took on minor roles in television dramas from 1969 through 1971, such as in “Room 222” (1969), “Then Came Bronson” (1969), and “The Bill Cosby Show” (1970).
In 1971, Lynn played the supporting role of Sarah in “Brother John”, and Avis in “The Seven Minutes”.
The following year, she starred as Sarah in “Buck and the Preacher”, opposite Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, and Harry Belafonte, demonstrating the tension between Black Americans and the White majority.
In 1972, Lynn Hamilton landed a recurring role in the American sitcom “Sanford and Son”, based on the BBC program ‘Steptoe and Son’. She played Donna Harris, a registered nurse and the fiancee of Fred Sanford, opposite prominent actors such as Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson. Lynn appeared in all six seasons of the TV show through 1977.
Later that year, she portrayed Aunt Ida in “Lady Sings the Blues”, a biographical film about the American jazz singer Billie Holiday, loosely based on her 1956 autobiography of the same title.
The film was directed by Sidney J. Furie, and starred Diana Ross as Billie, Billy Dee Williams as Louis McKay, and Virginia Capers.
From 1973 through 1981, Lynn Hamilton guest-starred as Verdie Grant Foster in 17 episodes of “The Waltons”, an American historical drama set during the Great Depression and World War II. Judy Norton (who starred as Mary Ellen Walton) said to the press about working with Lynn Hamilton – ‘Lynn had an extensive acting career before joining us on “The Waltons”, and we were very fortunate to have her’.
In the following years, she played Mrs Ramsey in “Hangup” in 1974, and Sally Ledbetter in “Leadbelly” in 1976. In 1982, Lynn aprpeared as Judge Condon in the TV series “The Powers of Matthew Star”.
In the ‘90s and early 2000s, Lynn focused on acting in TV series. She landed the recurring role of Judge P. Fulton in seven episodes of the legal drama “The Practice” (1997-2002). Then she played Dr. Oberholser in “Baby’s Breath” (2003), and Faye Benton in “Judging Amy” (2004).
Her last appearance was playing Mary Chisolm ‘09 in an episode of “Cold Case” (2009), after which Lynn Hamilton seems to have retired from acting.
Personal Life, Husband, and Children
Lynn Hamilton was rumored to be the sister of LaWanda Page, her co-star in “Sanford and Son” at some point in her career.
However, their colleague, Demond Wilson, later debunked the rumor, citing it is a coincidence that LaWanda Page had a younger sister named ‘Lynn Hamilton’. However, the actress maintained a close relationship with LaWanda Page until her passing in 2002.
Lynn Hamilton was married to the playwright and poet Frank Jenkins. After meeting and dating for a while, they tied the knot in November of 1964. The couple had a daughter together, and were happily married for 49 years until Frank died in August 2014. It is undisclosed whether Ms. Hamilton took another partner after her husband’s death.
As to the question of whether Lynn Hamilton is still alive, she is indeed still alive and enjoying her retirement.
Happy birthday, Lynn Hamilton!The actress who played Fred’s girlfriend Donna on SANFORD AND SON is 90 today!
Her last public appearance was on the red carpet of “The Waltons” 40th-anniversary reunion, held on 29th September 2012, at the Ebel Theatre, Los Angeles CA.
Appearance, Clothing Style
Lynn Hamilton is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall and weighs around 136lbs (62kgs). She has shoulder-length black curly hair and brown eyes. Old and recent photographs of the veteran actress Lynn Hamilton throws light on her clothing style as minimalist – she loves to dress in a simple yet elegant outfit. She has always liked to wear colorful suits, however, in recent times she is more inclined to wear flowing gowns that fit her frame just right.
Hobbies, Favorite Things, and Interesting Facts
- Hamilton is a devout Christian.
- She regularly practices meditation.
- She is an avid animal lover, having had many pets; her favorite animals are horses.
- She enjoys visiting the local theatre.
Net Worth and Salary
Although Lynn Hamilton’s net worth is estimated at about $3 million, from being active in the entertainment industry for five decades! Details of property owned by Ms. Hamilton and her family remain undisclosed to the public.