Ted Williams, the formerly homeless man with the golden voice who captured the nation's attention with his rise to instant fame, is reportedly starting work on a reality TV show.
When last we checked in on Ted, he was living in a sober house in L.A., having spent less than two weeks at a rehab facility he said he'd rushed into. Now, Williams' "Second Chances at Life" will begin filming in two weeks in L.A., Ohio and Brooklyn, TMZ said Tuesday.
The series will show how Williams wound up on the streets and follow him as he moves forward to rebuild his career and personal life, his rep told the website. A second season would feature second chances for other people.
And why didn't we see this coming? (And truly, we didn't -- color us naive.) Because, clinging to the ragged edge of Generation X, we have yet to fully accept that certain things are inevitable anymore.
One thing we'd bet on: There's an audience interested in the second-chance life of Ted Williams.
Where did Ted Williams get to? You know, Ted Williams, the once-homeless man with the golden voice who rose to instant fame and then bailed on Dr. Phil-inspired rehab after less than two weeks, dropping off the national radar almost as quickly as he hit it?
Turns out he's now in a sober-living house, working to find his place in the L.A. voice-over community, he said Wednesday in an interview on "The Early Show." (You can watch the interview here.)
Appearing calmer and more put together than in his appearances on that show and others in the whirlwind of his instant fame, Williams explained why he so quickly left live-in rehab in Texas -- a situation into which he said he was probably "very rushed."
"I love Dr. Phil [McGraw] ... his concern and his caring," Williams said. "But I felt scripted. I was doing live phone-ins from rehab." He said he'd never heard of such a thing -- checking in long distance about how he was doing while others were in classes.
"I was told by some people from the voice-over community in Los Angeles that they have a clean-living sober house," he said. "That's where I'm living now." He said he can come and go but has to check in and give samples for testing.
With all the opportunities showered upon him, Williams said, it was a challenge to keep a level head and "possibly come to one decision."
"The weight of the world was on my shoulders," he said, with people in airports and elsewhere shouting, "Hey, Ted, we're rooting for you" and "Hey, Ted, don't let us down."
He said this time around, he wants to focus on a charitable foundation he's established in Columbus, Ohio.
Ted Williams, the homeless man whose "golden voice" made him an instant celebrity, has reportedly left a rehab facility in Texas less than two weeks after checking in.
Williams left Origins Recovery Center in South Padre Island and headed for the airport, TMZ said Monday, adding that Williams' girlfriend is in rehab in Costa Mesa. No details were given about where Williams was headed. On the way to rehab, with a physician as a chaperone, he'd swung through Ohio to visit with his grandchildren.
"Ted was given the chance to voluntarily enter a drug rehabilitation facility in order to help him in dealing with his dependency on drugs and alcohol," Dr. Phil McGraw said in a statement. "In that it is voluntary, the decision to remain in treatment is Ted's to make."
McGraw hooked Williams up with Origins after the Ohio man went from homeless to Hollywood in a matter of days. A reporter's roadside video of Williams went viral, earning him the spotlight, a family reunion and a few job offers. The fairy tale took a turn for the worse when Williams and one of his daughters got into a fight that wound up with both of them at the police department, chilling out. No charges were filed, and Williams headed to rehab shortly after taping episodes of "Dr. Phil."
Williams entered Origins on Jan. 13, TMZ said; his expenses -- reportedly $49,000 for three months -- were covered, though the deep pockets were not Dr. Phil's. His departure apparently was against doctor's orders.
"We certainly hope that he continues his commitment to sobriety, and we will continue to help and support him in any way that we can," McGraw said Monday, according to CNN.
Talk show host Chelsea Handler wrote Tuesday that she was "not surprised."
Was Alex Lambert attempting to out himself as the next "homeless man with the golden voice"? The onetime "American Idol" contestant sent out a stream of Twitter messages Monday declaring he'd been "kinda homless! Sleepin on the street and behind buildings [sic]," adding, "I'm usually a strong person, but I can't take it anymore."
A rep for 19 Entertainment, the company behind the "Idol" gang, confirmed the tweets' authenticity Tuesday but also told EW.com that since Lambert wrapped the Web-based reality series "If I Can Dream," he's been on retainer and getting money every month.
"He's not homeless," the rep said. "I don't know where that came from."
Lambert changed tactics Tuesday on Twitter, with another series of messages that said, in part, "O my goodness yall! I have been crashin behind buidings and sleepin outside but I dont want nobody to feel sorry for me! I'm a grown ass man. I've had so much help out here in LA! I just want oto do things on my own! I have places to stay I just don't want to be a burden on anyone! I have money! And soon I will have a place to stay! I just wanted to let yall know! I'm not some rich spoiled kid!"
Ted Williams, "the homeless man with the golden voice," was bound for rehab Thursday on the advice of Dr. Phil McGraw, with a short stop in Ohio first to see his grandchildren.
Cameras from "Entertainment Tonight" followed Williams as he was shuttled to Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank, traveling with a physician he said will act as his chaperon. He's ultimately bound for Origins Recovery Center in South Padre Island, Texas, a treatment facility recommended by the host of the "Dr. Phil" show. McGraw's practice was originally based out of Texas.
"Hey America, I'm going to get well," he told the ET crew Thursday. "All I ask is that you don't forget me, please."
Williams admitted to Dr. Phil in an interview that aired Thursday that despite his claims of more than two years of sobriety, he’d stumbled during that time and consumed alcohol.
"I can say honestly, Dr. Phil, it didn't lead me to my drug of choice, which was crack."
A physical run-in with one of his daughters that resulted in a trip to the Hollywood police station on Monday night was followed by revelations on "Dr. Phil" from Williams' family about his continued drinking and their fears that he wasn't ready to handle the life that had been presented to him.
The well-worn celebrity story arc that has taken people such as Lindsay Lohan and Robert Downey Jr. years to travel was knocked out by Williams in about two weeks: Talent is discovered, fame ensues, which leads to showers of attention, then a run-in with the law and then rehab.
"Don't give up on me America. I'm on my way to get healthier," he said at the airport, switching to that big voice of his to add, "and come back bigger and better than ever."
Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, will enter rehab after a decision that sprang from a taping of "Dr. Phil," the show said Wednesday.
Williams, his family members and psychologist-turned-TV-host Phil McGraw discussed the YouTube sensation's physical altercation Monday with one of his daughters. Williams' admission that he was still drinking led to his decision -- after what the host called a "lengthy one-on-one conversation" -- to enter a rehab facility.
"If Ted is ever going to get better, he's got to be honest with himself and admit he's addicted to drugs and alcohol," McGraw said in a statement.
"I've told him it's not going to be easy and it's going to take a lot of hard work. It might be a long journey for him, but this is a big step in the right direction."
Williams and daughter Janey were detained Monday night by police who responded to a disturbance report at the Hollywood Renaissance, but no charges were filed.
The family members were staying at the hotel ahead of their TV appearance, during which relatives declared the instant celebrity had been drinking daily. In interviews last week, Williams said he had been sober for two years after struggling with alcohol and crack cocaine addiction.
Segments of the syndicated show featuring Williams, his ex-wife Patricia and five family members, were set to air Wednesday and Thursday.
Ted Williams' race down the fame highway has hit a few bumps, with police responding to a disturbance at his hotel Monday night and the homeless man with the golden voice giving an interview afterward describing an altercation with one of his daughters.
In a matter of days, the onetime DJ who wound up homeless due to drug and alcohol addiction, not to mention prison time, has gone from panhandling on the streets of Ohio to appearing on TV and radio and capturing hearts around the world with his baritone voice and second-chance fairy tale.
Williams and his daughter Janey were detained Monday night after police were called to the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, where family members were stayinig as part of a reunion for the "Dr. Phil" show.
Police took the two to the Hollywood station, talked to them and calmed them down. Ted Williams was left with scratch marks on his face, but no charges were filed.
Williams told "Entertainment Tonight" — there's video below — that "fists got to flying, none of which were mine" after his daughter got upset over something he said. On "Dr. Phil," Janey said her dad had been drinking heavily, an accusation he denied.
Tuesday's "Dr. Phil" episode, in a promo with voiceover by Williams, promises some uncomfortable moments, with psychologist Phil McGraw asking questions along the lines of "Do you acknowledge that you didn't step up as a father and a husband?" and "Could you pass a drug test right now?" The appearance is broken into two parts, "Homeless to Hollywood" and "Ted's Family Intervention."
Ted Williams, the homeless man whose baritone voice has made him a star, hit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" on Thursday -- making Fallon's show the deli meat in a sudden-fame sandwich with multiple slices of "Today" and "The Early Show" as the bread on either side.
Williams introduced the show, then sat down with Fallon for an interview to explain how it all went down.
"I was just flying my sign there" by the highway one day, he said, when a guy from the local newspaper came by, gave him a buck and asked about his voice, which was referenced on the sign.
"For the dollar he offered me -- you know, a dollar is like $20 sometimes -- I just went, 'When you're listening to the best of oldies, you're listening to Magic 98.9,' and he looked at me and he said, 'Here,' and he gave me $2." That guy came back days later with a camera, and the rest is history.
"I never thought anything would become of it," he said, and without Internet access had no way to check it out. Friends hunted him down after a radio show mentioned it was looking for him.
Watch the video, above, to witness that if nothing else, Ted Williams is quite the charmer.
Ted Williams, the homeless man whose voice has brought him a flood of instant fame, said Friday morning that there was a moment when taking a chill pill seemed like a good idea -- until a psychologist talked him out of it.
"I wanted a nerve pill yesterday, to be honest with you," Williams, 53, said on "The Early Show." The recovering addict said the counselor told him, "'Listen, you're going to have to learn to meditate and not medicate.'"
So there's one answer to the legions of people inspired by Williams' story, but also concerned for how he'll fare the crush of pop-up celebrity. He said he told the psychologist he isn't bipolar and hasn't taken psychotropic medications.
Despite his "golden voice" and previous career as a radio DJ, Williams' life spiraled downward in 1996 and he ended up on the streets and behind bars thanks to drug and alcohol abuse, and theft and forgery committed to fund his habits. He says he's been sober for more than two years.
When his mother expressed concern over his continued sobriety in the face of sudden fame, he said, "I guess that's rightfully said, because two years is not a great length of sobriety enough to say that I've got this mastered. It's one day at a time."
Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, was reunited with his 90-year-old mother, Julia Williams, on Thursday in New York, just hours after he spoke of her tearfully on the "Today" show.
Crying "Mommy, mommy," according to the Columbus Dispatch, Williams ran to his mother across a conference room in Manhattan. She embraced him after declaring that her "prodigal son" had returned. They hadn't seen each other in almost 20 years.
A reunion anticipated to happen at LaGuardia Airport -- Julia was escorted there by "The Early Show" host Chris Wragge to meet her son as he got off the plane from Ohio -- was delayed when Ted was whisked away by the another news crew, CBS News said.
"God has answered my prayer," Julia said on "The Early Show," acknowledging that it hurt to miss her son at the airport. "I prayed that I would live to see this time when he would do well." Her son was being interviewed by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira at almost the same time on "Today."
Julia Williams, incidentally, has quite a lovely voice herself.
Top photo: Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, is reunited with his mother, Julia Williams, 90, in a New York office conference room on Thursday. Credit: Doral Chenoweth III / Columbus Dispatch / Associated Press
Bottom photo: Ted Williams shows reporters on Wednesday where he'd been living on the north side of Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Doral Chenoweth III / Columbus Dispatch / Associated Press