John Amos: Television and Film Star, Best Known as James Evans on Good Times

Written by Jae Jones

is best known for his role as James Evans in the CBS TV sitcom Good Times from 1974 to 1976. Amos played the father of 3 children and the husband of Ester Rolle, who played Florida Evans at the time.

The family lived in the projects in Chicago and was struggling to make ends meet. Not only did Amos keep the Evans family in order, but for millions of people watching, he helped them master the stern approach in their homes. Unfortunately, Amos was fired from the show after having issues with the writers in regards to Jimmie Walker’s character, J. J.

John A. Amos was born in Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from East Orange High School in 1958, later enrolled at Long Beach City College, and graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in sociology. During those years, Amos was a boxing champion and also signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos football team.


Amos has had several other television roles, such as Captain Dolan on the show Hunter, a co-starring role in The District, and the role of Gordy Howard on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Amos is also known for appearing in the 1977 miniseries Roots, based on Alex Haley’s book, as Kunta Kinte. He has guest-starred on numerous of shows including The Cosby Show, In the House, Martin, Murder, She Wrote, and many others. Amos is also the writer and produce of Halley’s Comet.

His film career consists of a variety of characters in comedic movies and dramas alike. He appeared in the 1995 film For Better or Worse, had a role as a police officer in The Players Club (1998), played Uncle Virgil in My Baby’s Daddy (2004), starred as Jud in Dr. Dolittle 3 (2006), and had a role in the movie Madea’s Witness Protection as Jake’s father. He has taken home more TV Land Awards than any other actor.

In 2009, Amos demonstrated his musical side and released an album of country songs. He married and divorced three times, and has two children from his first marriage.


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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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