Willie Aames (born Albert William Upton; July 15, 1960) is an American actor, film and television director, television producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for playing Tommy Bradford, one of the children of Tom Bradford (played by Dick Van Patten), on the 1970s television series Eight Is Enough, Buddy Lembeck on the 1980s sitcom Charles in Charge and the title character in the direct-to-video series, Bibleman (1995–2003).
Aames was born in Newport Beach, California, in 1960. He attended Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California, and was in both the choir and the Madrigal Ensemble.
Aames began acting in the late 1960s as a child, appearing in shows such as Gunsmoke, The Wonderful World of Disney, Adam-12, and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. In 1971, he originated the role of Leonard Unger, the son of Felix Unger (Tony Randall), on the ABC-TV series The Odd Couple, a part that was later played by Leif Garrett. The following year, he voiced the character of Jamie Boyle in the animated series Wait Till Your Father Gets Home.
He guest-starred on various television series, including The Waltons. In 1974, he portrayed a 12-year-old Benjamin Franklin in the miniseries Benjamin Franklin. The next year, he co-starred in the series Swiss Family Robinson.
In 1977, he landed the role of Tommy Bradford in the comedy-drama Eight Is Enough. During this period, he played in a band called Willie Aames & Paradise, in which he was lead singer/guitarist. Formed while Aames was in junior high school, the group eventually landed a recording contract with CBS Custom Label. During this time, Aames appeared in his first movie role, Scavenger Hunt. After the series ended in 1981, Aames appeared in more film roles, including Zapped! opposite Scott Baio and Paradise with Phoebe Cates.
Before portraying the role of Buddy Lembeck in Charles in Charge in 1984, Aames played the character of Robbie Hamlin on the ABC soap opera The Edge of Night. From 1983 to 1985, he was the voice of Hank on the cartoon Dungeons & Dragons. After the end of Charles in Charge in 1990, Aames hosted the game show The Krypton Factor.
Aames starred as Bibleman in the direct-to-video Christian superhero series from 1995 to 2003, before leaving to spend more time with his family. He was replaced by Robert T. Schlipp.
Aames has been married three times. Aames married Vicki Weatherman in 1979, having one child, Christopher. He married Maylo McCaslin in 1986, having one child, Harleigh Jean. Aames is currently married to Winnie Hung.
For some years, Aames had been fighting alcohol addiction.
|1971||The Odd Couple||Leonard||Episode: “Win One for Felix”|
|1971–1972||The Courtship of Eddie’s Father||Harold O’Brien||4 episodes|
|1971, 1973||Gunsmoke||Tom / Andy||2 episodes|
|1971, 1974||Adam-12||Young Boy / Billy Ray||2 episodes|
|1971–1975||Medical Center||Eric / Jeff||3 episodes|
|1972||Cannon||Macklin Boy||Episode: “A Flight of Hawks”|
|1972–1974||Wait Till Your Father Gets Home||Jamie Boyle (voice)||38 episodes|
|1973||Adam’s Rib||Boy||Episode: “Katey at the Bat”|
|1973||Frankenstein||William Frankenstein||Two-part episode of The Wide World of Mystery|
|1974||Benjamin Franklin||Benjamin Franklin (at 12 years old)||Miniseries; episode: “The Whirlwind”|
|1974||The Wonderful World of Disney||Jeff Peterson||Episode: “Runaway on the Rogue River”|
|1975||The Waltons||Danny Comley||Episode: “The Beguiled”|
|1975||We’ll Get By||Kenny Platt||12 episodes|
|1975–1976||The Swiss Family Robinson||Fred Robinson||20 episodes|
|1976||Rich Man, Poor Man Book II||Young Wesley Jordache||Miniseries; episode: “Chapter I”|
|1976–1977||Family||T.J. Latimer||6 episodes|
|1977||Little House on the Prairie||Seth||Episode: “Injun Kid”|
|1977–1981||Eight Is Enough||Tommy Bradford||111 episodes|
|1982||The Love Boat||Danny||Episode: “Doc’s Nephew”|
|1983||The Edge of Night||Robbie Hamlin||Unknown episodes|
|1983–1985||Dungeons & Dragons||Hank the Ranger (voice)||Main role|
|1984–1990||Charles in Charge||Buddy Lembeck||126 episodes|
|1986||Blacke’s Magic||Eric Wilson||Episode: “The Revenge of the Esperanza”|
|1987||Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion||Tommy Bradford||TV movie|
|1989||An Eight Is Enough Wedding||Tommy Bradford||TV movie|
|1995–2003||Bibleman||Miles Peterson / Bibleman||23 episodes|
|2005||Celebrity Fit Club – Season 2||Himself||8 episodes|
|2006||Bugtime Adventures||Narrator||13 episodes|
|2007||MacMillan River Adventures – Season 1||Himself||27 episodes|
|2008||Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp – Season 8||Himself||8 episodes|
|2015||Harvest Moon||William Stone||Hallmark TV movie|
|2016||Dater’s Handbook||Kyle||Hallmark TV movie|
|2016||Every Christmas Has A Story||Vernon Hollis||Hallmark TV movie|
|2017||Date My Dad||Principal Reed||2 episodes|
|2019||Love on the Menu||Martin Thomas||Hallmark TV movie|
|1979||Scavenger Hunt||Kenny Stevens|
|1984||Goma-2 [it]||Tony||Alternative title: Killing Machine|
|1985||Cut and Run||Tommy Allo||Alternative title: Amazon: Savage Adventure|
|2003||The Missy Files||—||Direct-to-DVD release|
|2003||Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Himself|