Ted Williams: Media Tears Him Apart, Colleagues Try to Put Him Back Together

ted williams recording While the media swooped down on golden-voiced, homeless YouTube sensation Ted Williams and started a feeding frenzy that a seasoned professional would have had a hard time surviving, colleagues in the voice over community recognized a friend in need and attempted to throw him a lifeline. But that lifeline was soon cut.

"When I met with him, I told him privately that the 'miracle' is not that he is in Hollywood on national television. The miracle is that he is sober -- and that if he does not make that his No. 1 priority, he will lose everything he has gained," said voice over legend Beau Weaver, whose voice you've heard on prominent movie trailers, commercials, and animated series as well as on television shows like 'ET' and 'The Insider.'

"He agreed enthusiastically when I asked if I could take him away from the circus to get him to a recovery group meeting, and a reality check," Weaver explained. "I made arrangements with his handlers for several meetings, but they changed plans each time. I just could not get him away from the entourage."

Signs of trouble

Weaver met the soft-spoken, recovering addict in Los Angeles, when he visited the Don LaFontaine Voice Over Lab at the Screen Actors Guild headquarters in Hollywood, which Weaver helped create. "Don (the legendary voice over artist) was very supportive of the voice over community, and we wanted to keep that tradition alive after he died," said Weaver.

In that spirit, Weaver and a few of his colleagues reached out to Williams, back when the YouTube video had been seen by only about 300 people. (It's now been seen by nearly 7 million). Once Williams booked the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial, union rules required that he join the Screen Actors Guild, so Weaver and his friends got together and paid Williams' pricey dues.

ted williams and beau weaver Weaver was extremely concerned, however, as he watched the massive media feud that ensued as Williams sky-rocketed to fame in three short days. "They had him jumping through hoops like a trained seal," Weaver said. "This would be an emotional roller coaster for a media savvy guy with many years of sobriety. For Ted, this media feeding frenzy could kill him."

Clash of the media titans over Williams

NBC and CBS morning news shows dragged Williams back and forth across Manhattan. Finally CBS won, and sent Williams out to Hollywood where he would shoot 'The Insider,' 'ET,' and 'Dr. Phil,' which is also a CBS entity. Dr. Phil arranged a meeting with some of Williams' nine children, some of whom hadn't seen their dad in decades.

"A recovering addict needs to take that process slowly," said Weaver. "But so much of TV is about emotion and conflict -- they don't really care about the needs of the individual."

Weaver saw signs that William was suffering when they met at the voice over lab, and hence made the offer to arrange for Williams to attend a rehab meeting. But Williams' handlers just couldn't seem to find the time in the exhausting schedule they'd arranged.

Weaver was not surprised when things came to head in a hotel room in Hollywood on Tuesday night -- a fight with Williams' newly reunited daughter led to police intervention, accusations of current alcohol abuse, and even physical violence, reportedly perpetrated by the daughter.

Time for Williams to heal

Weaver said he was relieved when he read an announcement canceling upcoming appearances, along with a statement by Al Battle, Williams' new manager:

"After consulting with several psychologist and doctors we all agree that it is time to allow private healing to take place. Ted would like to express his sincere thanks for all the love and support he has received. We want to reassure everyone that Ted's emotional and physical health is our first priority. The Battle Plan Promotions Team is working hard to set up a solid network of support and assistance when he returns home. We are asking the local, national and international community to embrace and welcome Ted home to a safe, stress free, and supportive environment.

It's been reported that Dr. Phil is arranging residential rehabilitation for Williams for at least a month to 90 days. Weaver says he and his supportive colleagues in the voice over community will be there for Williams when he comes out.

"Ted is a sweet, good-hearted man. He is not a saint, but he deserves a shot at redemption like all of us," Weaver said. "I am continuing to expect a good outcome."

Whether or not the rest of the world will remember him is another matter. This is a man who shot to superstardom -- even getting offers from Oprah -- in a matter of days, who now seems to be coming back to earth sooner than expected. It makes you think twice about coveting a mercurial career rise to the top -- no matter how much support you may have.

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Linda Wilson

Sounds like a whole lot of folks got paid, where as, Ted will be right back out on the street where he started. His so called manager advised him to turn down the offers? That's stupid. How is he going to get his life back together with no jobs which means no money?

Quote from the article "Weaver said he was relieved when he read an announcement canceling upcoming appearances, along with a statement by Al Battle, Williams' new manager:
"After consulting with several psychologist and doctors we all agree that it is time to allow private healing to take place. Ted would like to express his sincere thanks for all the love and support he has received. We want to reassure everyone that Ted's emotional and physical health is our first priority. The Battle Plan Promotions Team is working hard to set up a solid network of support and assistance when he returns home. We are asking the local, national and international community to embrace and welcome Ted home to a safe, stress free, and supportive environment."

January 24 2011 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Glenn Iannicelli

I thought Ted Williams was that frozen dead guy.

January 22 2011 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Koatz

Seriously, you only get one shot at stardom, and I think his alcoholism can be treated while he makes money. But, to pull the guy down while his star is rising seems especially cruel to me.

He certainly didn't receive any help when he was at the bottom of his life, so why are those people trying to "help" him while he is at the top?

Screw them! Take matters into your own hands, Ted and stay on the path - accepting job offers, etceteras, because when your broke and jobless, those same people who are telling you to go into rehab and not accept jobs, will abandon you again.

January 21 2011 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

I just hope that after rehab that he gets a sponsor that'll help him check his motives and keep him on the path of living in the solution of things. There's no question that alcohol has a unique effect on the body of an alcoholic but there is quite a bit of mental and emotional dysfunction that goes hand in hand with the Alcoholism tag as well, and part of the alcoholic's recovery depends on whether or not they will approach things in their life differently than the old, busted ways of the past.

I'm sending my best wishes for Ted -- I hope he gets his life together and I hope he uses this moment in life to become the moment of clarity for others, people trapped in the dreadful disease of addiction. If Ted can get right, he'll be the most visible proof that sobriety is possible in quite some time.

January 20 2011 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paul's comment
Fabian S.

I completely agree with your opening comments, because I know from my own experience that that's exactly the kind of help a sponsor can give. Also, it's exactly the kind of help someone with this problem needs. I can only pray that Ted gets his space and time to work this thing out for himself (assuming that he has a genuine desire to do so) and that his celeb tag will not interfere with his recovery. If the studios and execs who are cashing in on Ted's fame really care what happens to him, they'll (God wiling) give him his space. God bless.

January 27 2011 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandra

Ted You need to surround yourself with people who will keep you on the right track just like what Dr. Phil suggest and with Gods' continued help and guidance you will be even better than you were before. Remember that all of America is praying for you. God bless you in you every decision making and well being.

January 16 2011 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sandra's comment
Bruce W.

I also join in the prayers for Ted. What an awesome break, that can come with a danger zone. It is wonderful to see colleagues step up and be there for him. I was so afraid for him when I first saw this. I am an Addictions Counselor who is also in recovery. I know the dangers presented here. Creator please watch over Ted. He was able to get that dream job that I wish to someday get. Help him keep what he has.

January 19 2011 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AD

here, here scubadave

January 15 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laurence Brand

That's what Ted needs, community. And a caring community of people who know what its like, and are there for one another. That was my first reaction when I heard of his down turn. I have two older brothers who suffer from similar issues. Only an alcoholic can understand the importance of meeetings! One of the things they always say is, "keep coming back" and "one day at a time" Thank You so much to those voice over artists for caring for the man. His career is something that will help him in many ways, but his whole person needs much more than just a career!

January 13 2011 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Laurence Brand's comment
scubadave

Great comments I believe another key element in his continued sobriety is getting clear about his family dynamics. It is clear that at least one of his family members has continuing agner issues (for whatever reason) that encouraged her to make the decision to provide Ted with vodka. Ted needs to deal with himeself first and then take care of making right with his family members one member at a time. God bless you Ted. Remember, through Him all things are possible and "Geater is he who is you than he who is in the world."

January 15 2011 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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