Born & raised in Harlem & Queens, N.Y., Mayo moved with his family to Southern California at age 17. After a 2-year stint in the army from 1951-53, he studied at various institutions - Chaffey College, Los Angeles City College, and UCLA. He started acting around this time, but with little success. To make ends meet, he worked as a juvenile probation officer, harvested grapes, waited tables, and various other odd jobs. Finally, in the late 60's, he became a member of the New Lafayette Theater company in New York City and began doing serious acting. Not long after, a friend from the company recommended Mayo to his boss Norman Lear for a part in a single episode of Sanford & Son. Besides acting, he delved into other ventures. For example, in 1975 he opened a travel agency in Inglewood, California. In 1994, he moved to Fayetteville, Georgia, tired of the LA scene. In 1996, he began teaching drama at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. He was still teaching up until a fatal heart attack took his life on May 22, 2001. He is survived by his wife Gail and 3 children.