Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
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Once a Thief 

Grady gets uptight when Lamont brings his ex-convict friend Herman home to stay until he can find a job.


Herbert Kenwith


Winston Moss, Ray Galton ("Steptoe and Son" created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
Redd Foxx ... Fred G. Sanford (credit only)
Demond Wilson ... Lamont Sanford
Whitman Mayo ... Grady Wilson
LaWanda Page ... Aunt Esther Anderson
Hal Williams ... Officer 'Smitty' Smith
Howard Platt ... Officer 'Hoppy' Hopkins (as Howard T. Platt)
Ron Glass ... Herman Edwards
Don Rickles ... Fight Announcer (voice)


Grady gets uptight when Lamont brings his ex-convict friend Herman home to stay until he can find a job.

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Release Date:

27 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Esther shows up to bring the mail and to offer Herman his job back, it is bright sunlight outside when Lamont opens the door. However when the scene concludes and they leave, it is dark or at least late dusk outside. Then, in the final scene where Lamont and Grady read the mail, which one can only assume was directly following, it is bright daylight again. See more »


Lamont Sanford: [Defending Herman to Grady] He's not a "jailbird." He's got a name.
Grady Wilson: Oh, yeah? Spell it for me - number by number.
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User Reviews

Eighth of nine with Grady Wilson
5 December 2016 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"Once a Thief" guest stars Ron Glass, soon to play Det. Sergeant Harris on BARNEY MILLER, previously seen in "The Card Sharps." As Herman Edwards, he is a parolee just released after spending two years in prison, paying his debt for having been present at the scene of a crime. Grady has to hide all the valuables, putting his radio in the freezer, while Herman spends his time looking for a job. Enter Aunt Esther, looking to fill a position in her hardware store, hiring Herman on the spot. He wants to let her know about his criminal past, but is sworn to secrecy by Lamont. By the time she learns the truth, via his honest answer about where he's been, she decides to fire him: "she just raised her arms to heaven and said the truth will set you free, then she opened the door and freed me!" Until he played a dapper New York cop for 8 seasons Ron Glass often played shady characters.

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