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Mourning the Legacy of Ann Weldon

Our heart mourns the loss of a treasured family member, Anna Lois Weldon who passed away on January 14, 2024, at 9:30pm in Los Angeles. She will be memorialized on May 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. Additional details will be shared as they are made available.



 Ann Lois Weldon entered the world on February 28, 1933, in Holdenville, Oklahoma, to Beatrice Jennings-Weldon and Roosevelt Weldon, hardworking parents engaged in farming. When Ann was nine, the family relocated first to Wetumka, OK, and then to Bakersfield, CA, in 1941. Ann, the second child in the family, had siblings Willy Ray (deceased), Jewel (deceased), Maxine (the only surviving sibling), May Frances (deceased), and Charles (deceased).


Despite their religious upbringing restricting entertainment, Ann's exposure to music was influenced by her father, a minister with a liberal streak. Alongside Ann and Maxine, brother Charles became an actor and Artistic Director of the Negro Ensemble Company until his passing in 2018.



Ann embarked on her singing journey at 18, performing at various venues across Bakersfield, Sacramento, Las Vegas, New York, and San Francisco. Her talent took her overseas to Australia and Hawaii. In 1955, Las Vegas casinos desegregated due to a strike, marking a pivotal moment in Ann's career. During this time, she made three recordings, including "Your Hurting Me" and "Thanks A Lot But No Thanks."

Film Out of Darkness with Diana Ross

Ann's fanbase grew in the San Francisco area, where she crossed paths with Bill Ball, founder of the Academy Conservatory Theater (ACT). This connection launched her acting career on stage in San Francisco, leading to television roles in popular series such as the miniseries Roots, 9 to 5, The Robert Guillaume Show, Hunter, Frank's Place, Roc, ER, Martin, In The House, Married With Children, Six Feet Under and Columbo. Her many film acting credits include Out of Darkness, Woman Called Moses, Shampoo, What's Cooking, Panther, and Bird. She has also done commercial voice overs for: Nissan, Pacific Bell, Borghese, Boeing and McDonalds. 

Beyond her artistic pursuits, Ann passionately supported African American causes. In the 1960s, she, along with her sisters, performed in jazz worship services at Glide, fostering relationships with their gay audiences.

Ann with Congresswoman Maxine Waters


Ann was a strong advocate for equal rights, particularly focusing on the rights of African Americans. She was dedicated to the Democratic party and supported social equality through her time, talent, and financial contributions. Ann actively participated in political fundraisers, demonstrating her belief in the impact of advocacy. She was a steadfast ally of Congresswoman Maxine Waters and supported anti-apartheid efforts led by Bishop Desmond Tutu. In her life, Ann’s actions spoke of compassion, activism, and a deep commitment to a fairer world for everyone.

Ann alongside Bishop Desmond Tutu

Ann's dedication to highlighting African American contributions led her to propose a program featuring Black inventors and their accomplishments to a Public Television station in the late 1980s, supported by Sammy Davis Jr.


Ann's involvement with the Society for Individual Rights (S.I.R.), an early San Francisco gay rights organization, showcased her support for the LGBTQ+ community. She headlined benefits alongside artists like Divine, David Kelsey, Cass Daley, Laverne Cummings, John Rothermel, and Pristine Condition.


Later Life

Pictured to the left of Martin Lawrence on the popular sitcom Martin.

The Weldon sisters continued to expand their repertoire, engaging with organizations like S.I.R. and Glide Memorial. Ann's career included acting on both coasts, with significant contributions to film and television. Even in her later years, she remained connected to her roots, participating in benefits like the Pride Center in 1982.

Ann’s legacy lives on as the sister of Maxine Weldon; aunt of many treasured nieces, nephews. Her legacy echoes through them as they recall beloved Auntie. She leaves many beloved cousins and a myriad of adored friends. As we mourn her passing, let us celebrate the tapestry she leaves behind, a testament to a life well-lived and a spirit that will forever be imprinted in our memories.


Ann is the daughter of Beatrice Weldon & Roosevelt Weldon; Granddaughter of Effie Alford-Jennings & Anderson Jennings; and Great-Granddaughter of Matthew Alford & Lucy Berry-Alford.


 ~Alford Family Communications



Sited Sources:

From the film What's Cooking
Ann is pictured far right with the cast of sitcom One In A Million.


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