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Willie Aames

Date of birth : 1960-07-15
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Orange County, California
Nationality : Am
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-10-14

Born Albert William Upton in Orange County, California on 15 July 1960, Willie Aames is an actor, film and television director, television producer and screenwriter. He began his career as a child actor in the early 1970s and in 1971 he originated the role of Leonard Unger, the son of Felix Unger (Tony Randall) on the ABC-TV series, The Odd Couple.

Aames is known for his parts such as the 12-year-old Benjamin Franklin in the miniseries, Benjamin Franklin and the role of Tommy Bradford in the sitcom, Eight is Enough, among other guest appearances. He has lent his voice to several productions, including the role of Hank in the cartoon Dungeons & Dragons. In 2005, he appeared on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club 2, where he lost nineteen pounds, or 10.2 percent of his body weight.

Aames has been married twice, and he has one child from each marriage. He has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for over two decades, and he became a born-again Christian and an ordained minister in his effort to become sober. He met his second wife, Maylo McCaslin, when he became sober and they established a home in Kansas after they married about twenty-two years ago. In 2007, Maylo and Willie published, Grace is Enough, a book about their lives and their struggles with addictions and with their lives in Hollywood, as well as a play on the title of the series, Eight is Enough.

But, over Thanksgiving 2008, Aames attempted suicide.

The suicide attempt - which was unsuccessful - was a drunken attempt to end the misery following a bankruptcy, a repossessed car and Maylo's departure and her filing for divorce. Aames had been sober for twenty years before he stole a bottle of whiskey, drank it, and "put a knife to my throat and cut myself in six places."

Aames now is at rock bottom after he funded a $150,000 investment that fell through in 2008. Before his suicide attempt, Aames stated that his dream job was to work as a producer for Oprah. Now, however, he simply states he is "back in charge" while receiving help from the USC psychiatric ward.


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