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Obscure Black C-Listers: Lee Weaver

26 February 2009 12 Comments


Lee Weaver may be the quintessential Obscure Black C-Lister; you’ve seen him dozens of times but could you ever even try to guess his name? His fifty years in television and film (125 credits!) is practically unparalleled, and he continues to appear on-screen from time to time. If you’re having a hard time placing him that’s because Weaver tends to play a random homeless man, bartender, junkyard owner, blues man, waiter, handyman, or other fly-by-night character. With multiple credits as “Wino,” “Leroy,” and “Bus Boy,” he has been the super-black folksy dude with a touch of a ‘tude on sitcom television for the last thirty years in every show you can think of; in the past twenty years he’s had 45 single-episode appearances on television! When I say any show I really mean that every show from Quantum Leap to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has had its Lee Weaver moment. Further cementing his niche as a character actor, he has only had four permanent roles on television (if you don’t count his voice-acting on G.I. Joe the cartoon). Since his career has spanned over six decades, Lee Weaver has been more prominent during certain times than others; he’s had recurring roles on each of Bill Cosby’s outings over the years, working steadily in the ’70s when he married then-rising star Ta-Taniesha (they are still married, too!). He appeared most recently in How Stella Got Her Groove Back and 40 Year Old Virgin, but I remember him best as Ray Nay who ran Ray-Nay’s Ribs on A Different World. Can you place him?


  • Woe said:

    This guy been straight hustlin’; I’ve seen him in all kinds of stuff. He was the mailman on 227 before Freckle Rey came along. I remember him as the waiter on The Cosby’s when Cliff took Rudy and her lil friends to that fancy restaurant. I even remember him as one of James’ old buddies on Good Times. I remember Ray Nay too, haha (a lil spicy for the ricey!). Hey, I think I even remembered seeing him on an old ass episode of “The Dating Game” with Mary Wilson, and I think he won that too!

  • Mr. Smart Guy said:

    I definitely remember him as Ray Nay and as a chubby kid, I really wanted to taste his ribs. I also remember him on Webster for some odd reason but through everything he did, he always seemed to play the same role… why was that?

  • Malcolm said:

    Although I may not know Jack about The Cosby Show (outside of the basics), I do know Lee Weaver. The projects that I associate him with the most are the movie “The Onion Field” with James Woods, the Loni Anderson sitcom “Easy Street” (he was a regular), and an episode of “The Jeffersons” where he played one of George’s childhood buddies. In addition to hitting on Florence throughout most of the episode, his character also had some sage advice about childhood friends. He said that the best way to remain friends is to stay away from each other.

  • bklyn6 said:

    I recognize the face, but I didn’t know his name. As soon as I saw the picture I remembered the Jefferson’s episode where he’s rapping to Florence and tells George: “I’m still meeting your maid!”

  • Mo said:

    I remember him as one of James’ friends from the carwash on Good Times. He stopped by the house on the funeral episode to pay his respects to Florida and drop off some money to help out the family.

  • jazzfan360 said:

    Ray Nay! Ha. I never woulda even though of this guy for a tribute post. You are a good soul!

  • jazzfan360 said:

    Oh, and re: James’ funeral, I only vaguely remember him dropping by, but I’m sure he brought a ham.

  • Alison said:

    He was on Raven, on numerous commercials, but I remember him as St. Peter in Warren Beatty’s “Heaven Can Wait.”

  • Miss understanding said:

    I just saw him on an episode of sanford and son. He looked so young and i think he was supposed to be gay, which he played convincingly so.

  • Darra said:

    I’ve seen him on so many shows, it’s crazy! I saw him in a few Richard Pryor Movies, too! He’s a good actor and I see he’s smart. I just saw him play a grandfather character on some commercial recently. He’s still working so he’s getting paid!

  • karen said:

    I remember Lee on a sitcom with Loni Anderson in the 80’s! He is still fine and going strong. Ta, you have good thing! So does he.

  • Wanda said:

    Wow! I was sitting here watching Good Times and saw Ta-Tanisha. When I googled her it showed that Lee Weaver was her husband and that he was 23 yrs her senior! Yall have to remember Ta-Tanisha! She played Marcy on Good Times! She was the one who had JJ to paint the picture of her to give to her boyfriend and she also played the one who told JJ he had given her VD! They’ve been married for a very long time!

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