Lynn Hamilton (actress)

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Lynn Hamilton
Lynn Hamilton.jpg
Hamilton attending The Waltons 40th Anniversary celebration, 2012.
Born (1930-04-25) April 25, 1930 (age 89)
EducationBloom High School[1]
Years active1959–2009
Known forDonna Harris – Sanford and Son
Home townChicago Heights, Illinois, U.S.
Frank S. Jenkins
(m. 1964; died 2014)

Lynn Hamilton (born April 25, 1930) is an American former actress. Making her acting debut in 1959 with a role in John Cassavetes' Shadows, Hamilton is best known for her recurring role as Donna Harris; Fred's girlfriend and later fiancée on the sitcom Sanford and Son which originally aired from 1972 until 1977.


Hamilton was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi to a mother named Nancy[1] and later moved to Chicago Heights, Illinois when she was four years old.[2] She attended Bloom High School.[1][3] She studied acting at Goodman Theatre.[4] She began her career in community theatre in Chicago before making her debut on Broadway in the play Only in America in 1959.[5] She appeared in three other Broadway plays, many Off-Broadway plays and spent three years with the New York Shakespeare Festival.[4]

From 1972 to 1977, Hamilton starred as Fred Sanford's girlfriend and later fiancée Donna Harris on the television sitcom Sanford and Son. Donna was a nurse and sometimes took care of Fred.[6][7] There are many internet claims that she was the younger sister of actress LaWanda Page, who portrayed Esther Anderson on Sanford and Son, confirmed only via LaWanda Page's obituary in the Los Angeles Times.[8] In addition to Hamilton's role on Sanford and Son, she also had a recurring role as "Verdie" on The Waltons,[6] and made numerous appearances in television sitcoms, soap operas and miniseries such as Good Times, 227, Dangerous Women, Generations, Port Charles, The Golden Girls, Gunsmoke, and Roots: The Next Generations. Lynn Hamilton also appeared in the show Barnaby Jones, playing a character named Laura Padget; episode titled "Sunday:Doomsday"(02/04/1973). Hamilton also had a recurring role as Judge Fulton on The Practice.

Personal life[edit]

Hamilton was married to poet and playwright Frank Jenkins for 49 years, from November 1964 until his death in August 2014.[3][9] Together, Hamilton and Jenkins had one child.

LaWanda Page, who costarred with Hamilton on Sanford and Son had a younger sister coincidentally also named "Lynn Hamilton". This caused a rumor that the two actresses were sisters. Series lead Demond Wilson confirmed the rumor to be false in 2016.[10]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c JET Magazine - Couldn't Act In Drama Club; Now Lynn Hamilton Is School Honoree - November 4, 1976
  2. ^ Boguszeeski, Deborah (1 March 1987). "Veteran actress Hamilton returns to share excitement of live theater". Harvey Star. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b Company, Johnson Publishing (1976). Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. p. 63. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Struggle pays off: Role in "Sanford and Son" big break for actress who's worked long, hard". Avalanche Journal. Newspaper Enterprise Association. 8 October 1972. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  5. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1959). Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. p. 64. Retrieved 11 November 2017. lynn hamilton actress.
  6. ^ a b Fearn-Banks, Kathleen (2009). The A to Z of African-American Television. Scarecrow Press. p. 181. ISBN 9780810863484. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Lynn Hamilton plays women of every age". Kenosha News. 19 January 1974. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Frank S. Jenkins's Obituary on Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  10. ^ [1]

Demetria Fulton previewed Lynn Hamilton in Barnaby Jones; episode titled, "Sunday: Doomsday"(02/04/1973).

External links[edit]