Golden-Voiced Homeless Man Starts Media Tour

Ted Williams discussed his life and future on Today Show

Thursday, Jan 6, 2011  |  Updated 11:28 AM EDT
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Golden-Voiced Homeless Man Starts Media Tour

AP

In this photo provided by NBC Universal, homeless man Ted Williams appears on NBC's "Today" show, in New York, on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. Williams, who was living in a tent near a highway in Columbus, Ohio, just days ago, was in New York for an emotional reunion with his 90-year-old mother, media appearances, and to do some commercial voiceover work. On the "Today" show, he described his previous 48 hours as "outrageous." (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer) NO SALES

Ted Williams, whose deep, velvety radio voice and touching story became an internet sensation, has become America's hottest--and most improbable--star.

On Thursday, the Brooklyn-born Williams, who was living in a tent near a highway in Ohio just days ago, was in New York for an emotional reunion with his 90-year-old mother and media appearances.  He was also recording some commercial voiceover work, his career back on track after years of missteps. 

Williams was most recently arrested on May 14. He pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor theft charge. In court records, his address is listed as "Streets of Columbus." 

He acknowledged his record during the "Today" show appearance and explained that he turned to crime so he could afford his drug habits.

In a reversal of fortune, he also described his previous 48 hours as "outrageous.''

"There's no way in the world that I could have ever imagined that I would be --I mean, just have all of this just all of a sudden come into this portion of my life,'' he said.

Williams was left homeless after his life and radio career were ruined by drugs and alcohol.  Now, he has been offered a job by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, and the 53-year-old is also being pursued by NFL Films and others for possible work. 

Williams and his compelling tale became an online sensation after The Columbus Dispatch posted a clip of him demonstrating his voiceover skills while begging by the side of the road.  The video went viral, and now he's in demand.

"I don't know which one to choose, which one is the right one," he said on  "Today," regarding the job prospects. But he said he was ready to handle the second chance he was being given and predicted that in five years, he'd be working as a radio program director and living in his own apartment.

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