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Fans of Sanford and Son will no doubt remember Rollo Lawson, the fast-talking fashionable best friend of Lamont Sanford. Nathaniel Taylor, the actor who played Rollo, passed last week after suffering a heart attack.

Taylor was born March 31, 1938 in St. Louis, Mo. While working as an electrician at the Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles, Taylor was urged to try out for the part by a mentor, which led to a meeting with Redd Foxx. Bonding over the fact they shared the same hometown, Foxx granted Taylor a part and the rest is history.

The interaction between Taylor and Foxx’ characters was often acerbic, even though Rollo affectionately called Foxx’s character “Pops.” He appeared in over 30 episodes on the series and reprised the role in the spinoff shows Sanford and Grady before taking on other small roles into the ‘80s. After retiring from acting, Taylor opened a performing arts studio for young actors and according to one of his sons, enjoyed the fact that fans still remembered him as Rollo.

Taylor is survived by his wife, Loretta, their seven children, and a host of grandchildren.

Nathaniel Taylor was 80.



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