Whatever Happened to Willie Aames?

Willie Aames

Willie Aames is a famous American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter who began his career in the late 1960s. He was prolific in both film and television throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Aames took a hiatus from acting for several years, so he disappeared off the radar for a while. Although he returned to acting, he never quite achieved the same level of fame again. So, whatever happened to Willie Aames? Aames was born in California on July 15, 1960. He showed an interest in performing as a child and started getting acting jobs as a child actor during the 1960s, including roles in ‘Adam-12’, ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’, and Gunsmoke’. He also had roles in ‘The Odd Couple’, and ‘Wait Till Your Father Gets Home’, along with several roles as a guest star.

At the age of 15, Aames landed the role of Fred Robinson in ‘The Swiss Family Robinson’. He played this role between 1975 and 1976, appearing in 20 episodes. His next major television role was playing Tommy Bradford in ‘Eight Is Enough’. Aames played this role in the series from 1977 to 1981 and appeared in 111 episodes. He later reprised this role for two television movies; the 1987 television movie ‘Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion’ and ‘An Eight Is Enough Wedding’ tow years later. While he was appearing in ‘Eight is Enough’, Willie Aames also made his film debut. He played the role of Kenny Stevens in the 1979 film ‘Scavenger Hunt’, followed by playing David in ‘Paradise’ in 1982. The same year, he played Peyton Nichols in ‘Zapped!’. Other films in which he appeared during the 1980s included ‘Goma-2’ and ‘Cut and Run’.

After he had finished filming the television series ‘Eight Is Enough’, his television appearances during the 1980s included many guest appearances and providing the voice of Hank the Ranger in ‘Dungeons & Dragons’. His main television role in the 1980s was playing Buddy Lembreck in ‘Charles in Charge’, a role for which he is still remembered. He appeared in 126 episodes between 1984 and 1990. When this series finished, he briefly hosted the game show ‘The Krypton Factor’.

When he returned to acting, he played Miles Peterson/ Bibleman in the direct-to-video series ‘Bibleman’, which lasted for 23 episodes between 1995 and 2003. Not only did he act in the lead role of this series, but he also directed 11 episodes and wrote multiple episodes of the series. In the year that this series ended, he wrote and directed the direct-to-DVD film ‘The Missy Files’. Aames then decided to take a second break from his career to spend time with his family. Therefore, between 1990 and 2003, Aames was rarely seen as he appeared only in direct-to-video productions.

The next time Willie Aames appeared on television was when he took part in the reality television series ‘Celebrity Fit Club’ for eight episodes in 2005. He returned in 2008 for eight episodes of ‘Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp’. Between these two reality television series, he narrated 13 episodes of ‘Bugtime Adventures’ and appeared as himself in season one of MacMillan River Adventures.

This was only a brief spell back in the limelight for him as he then stepped away from television and film again. During this break from acting, Willie Aames became a six-star cruise director and traveled on the cruise ships to approximately 127 countries. This was an entirely different career path to anything he had done before, but it was a period of his life he enjoyed immensely. He worked for Oceania Cruise Lines on both Marina and MS Nautica. In addition to his role as a director, he also performed on the ships twice a week as a singer.

In his later years as a cruise director, he worked for Regent Seven Seas on the Mariner and Voyager ships. Working as a cruise director was not the only change in Aames’s life during his break from acting, he was also training to become a fully licensed financial advisor as he wanted to do something to help people who were struggling financially. However, he decided to return to his acting and filmmaking roots. He didn’t return until 2015 when he appeared in the Hallmark movie ‘Harvest Moon’ playing William Stone. A year later he appeared as Kyle in another Hallmark movie called ‘Dater’s Handbook’ followed by playing Vernon Hollis in his third Hallmark movie ‘Every Christmas Has a Story’ in 2016.

Willie Ames briefly played Principal Reed in two episodes of ‘Date My Dad’ in 2017, which was the last time he appeared on television. His most recent film role was playing Martin Thomas in the 2019 Hallmark movie ‘Love on the Menu’. Therefore, he is still working as an actor, although he is not as prominent as he was during the 1970s and 1980s. Also in 2019, he appeared in a documentary about his life titled ‘One Life No Regrets’. In his personal life, Willie Aames has been married three times. He was married to first wife Victoria Weatherman from 1979 until their divorce in 1984. They had one son together, Christopher, who is now a bass player in a rock band. His second wife was Maylo McCaslin, to whom he was married from 1986 to 2009. They had one daughter together, Harleigh Jean Upton.

Now, Willie Aames is married to third wife, actress Winnie Hung, who he married in 2014. The couple has no children together. They own properties in Los Angeles and Vancouver, British Columbia. They spend their time between these two properties and Aames continues to work in the television and film industries. Another fact about his personal life that is worth noting is that he has struggled in the past with alcohol addiction, and this may have impacted on his decisions to take breaks away from the limelight.


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