John Amos (Actor) - Good Times
John Amos 1
Updated: 12/05/23

Name: John Amos

Birth Name: John Allen Amos Jr.

Born: December 27, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey, USA

Claim To Fame: John Amos is an American actor best known for playing the adult Kunta Kinte in the landmark miniseries Roots and for his role as James Evans Sr. on the CBS television series Good Times.

Family Life: Amos has been married twice. His first marriage was to artist and equestrian Noel Mickelson, with whom he has two children: Shannon Amos and K.C. Amos. The marriage began in 1965 and ended in 1975. His second marriage was to actress Lillian Lehman, to only lasted from 1978 to 1979.

John Amos 2
Info: The son of Annabelle and John A. Amos Sr., an auto mechanic.

In 1958, Amoos graduated from East Orange High School.

He enrolled at Long Beach City College and graduated from Colorado State University, qualifying as a social worker with a degree in sociology.

Post college, Amos became a Golden Gloves boxing champion.

Amos is a veteran of the 50th Armored Division of the New Jersey National Guard and Honorary Master Chief of the United States Coast Guard.

In 1964, Amos signed a free agent contract with the American Football League's Denver Broncos. He then played with the Canton Bulldogs and Joliet Explorers of the United Football League.

In 1965, he played with the Norfolk Neptunes and Wheeling Ironmen of the Continental Football League.

In 1966, he played with the Jersey City Jets and Waterbury Orbits of the Atlantic Coast Football League.

In 1967, Amos signed a free agent contract with the American Football League's Kansas City Chiefs. He returned to the Continental League, where he played that year with the Victoria Steelers.

In 2020, Amos was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

John Amos 3
Trivia: Amos became well known in his first major TV role, playing Gordy Howard, the weatherman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, from 1970 to 1973.

He is best known for his portrayal of James Evans Sr., the husband of Florida Evans, first appearing three times on the sitcom Maude before continuing the role in 61 episodes of Good Times from 1974 to 1976.

Amos was cast as the Evans family's father in Good Times (1974) despite being only 8 years older than Jimmie 'JJ' Walker, who portrayed oldest son J.J., and nearly 19 years younger than Esther Rolle, who played his wife, Florida.

Amos, and co-star Rolle, wanted to portray a positive image of an African-American family, struggling against the odds in a poor neighborhood. He openly clashed with the writers of the show, due to the scripts' lack of authenticity in portraying the African-American experience. This led to his dismissal by executive producer Norman Lear at the end of the show's 3rd season 3.

In 1977, Amos starred in the ABC-TV Miniseries Roots, as the adult Kunta Kinte, based on the book by author Alex Haley.

He has guest-starred in numerous television shows, including Police Story, The A-Team, The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Touched by an Angel, Psych, Sanford and Son, My Name Is Earl, Lie to Me, and Murder, She Wrote.

His other film appearances include Vanishing Point (1971), The Beastmaster (1982), Coming to America (1988), Lock Up (1989), Two Evil Eyes (1989), Die Hard 2 (1990), and Ricochet (1991).

He appeared in Ice Cube and Dr. Dre's 1994 video for "Natural Born Killaz."

In 2009, he released We Were Hippies, an album of original country songs by Gene and Eric Cash.

In addition to his Emmy nomination for Roots, Amos has been nominated for a CableACE award, an NAACP Image Award, and a DVD Exclusive Award.

Amos has won three TV Land Awards, taking home trophies for his roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times and the TV miniseries Roots.

John Amos 4
Where Are They Now: After 50+ years, Amos is still one of the hardest working actors in the entertainment business. He currently has two film projects in pre-production: the drama Devotion and the comedy Capture the Flag.


Free Newsletters   |    Go Shopping   |    Where Are They Now?   |    GopherArchives   |    EVTV1

© 2024 GopherCentral and