For Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, every outing turns into a public-relations event. On a recent visit to a soup kitchen, several people who are in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse shared their stories with Williams.
“The people just scream for him,” said his longtime friend Kathy Craig, who witnessed his visit to the Community Threads’ weekly lunch on E. Main St. “The people just gravitate toward him.”
Williams was featured in a January 2011 Dispatch video after he was spotted panhandling at an I-71 exit ramp with a homemade sign saying he had a radio voice. After millions of views, the video propelled him to appearances on theToday Show and Dr. Phil. The notoriety led to numerous voice-over jobs, including one as the spokesman for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. A successful stint in rehabilitation helped him deal with his crack cocaine abuse, but problems remain in his life.
“I should have been a millionaire by now,” he said after an appearance on a Marion, Ohio, radio station, where his weekly show keeps his skills sharp in front of a microphone.
In spite of earning a $375,000 book advance for a biography, A Golden Voice: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation, Williams says he is broke. “I own nothing,” he said, adding that he doesn’t have a car or driver’s license. His new agent, Scott Anthony, drives Williams to his appearances.