- Associated Press - Friday, January 7, 2011

COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) - A homeless man whose silky announcing voice has catapulted him to national fame reunited Thursday with his mother, recorded a commercial for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and agreed to do voiceover work for MSNBC.

Video posted by The Columbus Dispatch shows Ted Williams walking quickly toward his 90-year-old mother at their New York reunion. Williams says, “Hi, Mommy. Hi, Mommy,” when he sees her in a hotel for the first time in about 20 years.

Brooklyn resident Julia Williams covers her face as her son approaches, and he hugs her, saying, “I feel the same way, Mommy.”

“I’m home,” Williams says. “I told you I was coming this year. I don’t look the best, but I’m home.”

Williams, 53, was left homeless after his life was ruined by drugs and alcohol, and he was living in a tent near a highway in Columbus just days ago. He quickly became an online sensation after the Dispatch posted a clip of him demonstrating his voiceover skills while begging by the side of the road.

Williams appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday morning and has been offered jobs by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and others.

At the reunion, he wore a camouflage jacket over clothes that he told his mother are all that he owns and said he just finished doing a commercial for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese that is to air Sunday during the Fight Hunger Bowl on ESPN.

Williams recorded voiceover promos Thursday for MSNBC’s Lean Forward campaign, and the spots were to begin running immediately, network spokeswoman Tanya Hayre said. He was being paid for the spots, Hayre said, but she declined to say how much.

Williams also taped an appearance on the NBC late-night show hosted by comedian Jimmy Fallon, who told him his voice “is golden.” Williams recounted his tale of discovery while panhandling on the streets of Columbus, joked about his fondness for “Today” host Matt Lauer and became teary-eyed when he discussed recording his first commercial for Kraft.

In the reunion video, Williams’ mother refers to him as “my prodigal son,” and when she tells him, “Please don’t disappoint me,” Williams responds, “I’m not, Mom, I’m not. I’m through with it all.”

“You always told me to pray, and I’ve been praying,” he says. “This has been a dream, a dream and a prayer.”

On the “Today” show, Williams 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 during a live interview in the program’s studio.

But he said he was ready to handle the second chance and the job offers 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. He said in 2010 he found a “new sense of spirituality” that would help him deal with whatever success comes.

Williams was contacted Wednesday by the Cavaliers, who have offered him a position that could include announcing work at Quicken Loans Arena, the team’s downtown facility. Williams said the team has offered him a two-year contract and would pay his living expenses.

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