John Amos Once Revealed Why His 'Good Times' Character Was Killed Off

Aby Rivas
Aug 15, 2019
08:20 A.M.

John Amos, better known for his role as James Evans in the ‘70s series “Good Times,” was written off the show on its fourth season. He once revealed what drove the series’ creator to kill his character without remorse.


John Amos was only 34-year-old when he earned the role as the middle-aged father of family, James Evans, on the first African American sitcom with two parents and a functioning family.

On-screen, he was married to Florida Evans—played by Esther Rolle—and they had three grown children: J.J.; Thelma; and Michael.

John Amos and Esther Rolle, 1974. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images

John Amos and Esther Rolle, 1974. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images


The show ran for six seasons from 1974 to 1979, but sadly, Amos’ character was killed in the first episode of the fourth season.

The move was a decision from the show’s creator, Norman Lear, who alongside the writers of the show had labeled Amos as a “disruptive element.”

Although Amos first said he was leaving the show to focus on his career in film, he later opened up about what really happened behind the scenes.

Photo of the Evans family from the television program Good Times. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images

Photo of the Evans family from the television program Good Times. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images


In an interview with the American Archive of Television, Amos explained that he always saw the series like an opportunity to present a good example for African American families, especially for the kids.

So, when the writers started to rely too much on the non-sensical humor of “J.J,” Amos was outspoken about his disappointment.

“I felt that with two other younger children, one of whom aspired to become a Supreme Court justice—that would be Ralph Carter or Michael—and the other, Bernadette Stanis, she aspired to become a surgeon. And the differences I had with the producers of the show … I felt too much emphasis was being put on J.J. and his chicken hat and saying ‘dy-no-mite’ every third page when just as much emphasis and mileage could have been gotten out of my other two children.”

John Amos on March 10, 2011. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images

John Amos on March 10, 2011. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images

Amos also admitted that he wasn’t the most “diplomatic” guy at the time, and the writers were getting tired of having their “lives threatened over jokes.”


Nonetheless, he wasn’t expecting to receive a call from Normal Lear while the show was on break. “Big John, I got some good news and some bad news. What do you want to hear first?” Amos recalls Lear asking him.


When Amos told Lear it was his call, he proceeded to inform John that the show had been picked up for a new season, which wasn’t really a surprise considering its success. The bad news, Lear told Amos, “you won’t be with us.”

Amos stayed silent on the phone, and when Lear asked if he had anything to said, he hung up.

Although Amos’ fierce opinions got him fired, fans of the show complained about missing James Evans’ presence on the show, and for many people, “Good Times” lost part of its essence when Amos left.

Despite his disruptive end on the show, Amos is still recognized as one of the best paternal figures on television.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

BernNadette Stanis Was a Virgin When She Wed a Man 'Who Wasn't Very Kind in Words' — Inside Their Marriage

May 02, 2022

Marlo Thomas’ Spouse Was a Virgin before Marriage to Mom of His 5 Kids & a Lousy Lover Afterward

February 03, 2022

Norman Lear's 2nd Wife Got $100 Million Divorce Settlement after Working up the Courage to Leave Him

May 21, 2022

Bob Saget's Longtime Home Gets $770K Price Cut – Nobody Is Ready to Buy House He Lived in until His Tragic Death

October 16, 2022

Michael Learned Wanted Her 'Waltons' Character to Be Imperfect — In Reality She Struggled to Raise Her 3 Sons

February 16, 2022

'Law & Order's' Camryn Manheim Turns 61 - Meet Her Son Milo Who Is All Grown-up & Is Also an Actor

March 08, 2022

Vicki Lawrence’s Love Story with Husband of 47 Years Started after Co-star Saw Him Walking in Corridor

March 28, 2022

Twins Send Dad to Nursing Home, Learn He Left Inheritance to Janitor Who Is Their Carbon Copy – Story of the Day

February 13, 2022

Meet ‘McMillan & Wife’ Star Susan Saint James’ Stunning Family with Husband Who Is a TV Wunderkind

February 11, 2022

Charlie Barnett Felt Broken after His ‘Chicago Fire’ Exit - Inside Other Sudden Departures from the Show

April 28, 2022

Raymond Burr Adopted 27 Kids during Last 40 Years of His Secretive Life after Loss of 10-Year-Old Son

March 11, 2022

James MacArthur Called Wife of 25 Years ‘Hard Boiled’ Yet Their Marriage Was ‘Better than Anything'

February 20, 2022

Charlie Sheen Could Not Understand the Chaos He Created in His Life Because of His Addictions

January 31, 2022

David Soul Was ‘Still a Kid’ When He Married for the 1st Time – He Fathered 5 Sons & Daughter

February 14, 2022