Clifton Davis and Other 'Amen' Cast Members 33 Years after the Sitcom First Aired

Ra'eesah Manack
Dec 18, 2019
09:10 P.M.
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The cast of “Amen” captured the hearts of audiences across the board from 1986 to 1991. The show was set in Sherman Hemsley's real-life hometown of Philadelphia and featured a stellar cast.


The show starred the likes of Sherman Hemsley and attracted a variety of people. "Amen" focused on the story of a deacon of a church. 

It was part of a wave of successful sitcoms on NBC in the 1980s and early 1990s. Many of which featured a predominantly black cast. Here is a look at where the cast of the hit show is now.

Sherman Hemsley as Deacon Ernest Frye

Actor Sherman Hemsley attends the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards | Getty Images


Sherman Hemsley was already a well-known name in Hollywood with series like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” under his belt before "Amen." He went on to act in TV, movies, and even released an album.

He also appeared in shows like “Martin,” “The Wayans Brothers,” “Sister, Sister,” “Family Matters,” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” He also lent his voice to “Dinosaurs,” “The Magic School Bus,” and “Family Guy.” The ultra-private actor passed away in July 2012, but fighting over his estate resulted in him only being buried months later.  

Anna Maria Horsford as Thelma Frye

Anna Marie Horsford attends "A Great Day In Black Hollywood" Gala at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center | Getty Images


Anna Maria Horsford had an extremely long career in acting.  Her IMDB page claims her career started at the tender age of four. After “Amen” she continued to pursue acting.

She appeared in shows like “Tall Hopes,” “Rhythm and Blues,” “Set It Off,” “The Wayans Brothers,” “The District,” “The Shield,” Friday, “New Girl,” and “Reed Between the Lines.”  In 2013, she appeared in Tyler Perry’s "A Madea’s Family Christmas."

Clifton Davis as Reverend Reuben Gregory

Clifton Davis attends 18th Annual Power Of A Dream Gala at JW Marriott Hotel | Getty Images


Clifton Davis was already known for his role in “That’s My Mama” as well as being an established songwriter. He wrote the Jackson 5 hit “Never Can Say Goodbye.“ He was also a Tony Award-nominated Broadway performer.

His life had however been a mix of sex and substance abuse before he found God. Thus his role in “Amen” was fitting for him. After “Amen,” he’s continued to work as an actor with roles in “Living Single,” “Sparks,” “American Dream,” and “Half and Half.” He also released a number of critically acclaimed, albums. 

Jester Hairston as Rolly Forbes

ester Hairston as Henry Van Porter on Amos 'n' Andy, 1951. | Wikimedia Commons


Jester Hairston had been acting since he graduating from Julliard in the late 1920s. The multi-talented actor made a name for himself in music, radio, and television. He acted with Clifton Davis in both “That’s My Momma” and “Amen.”

 After “Amen” he appeared in "Being John Malkovich" and an episode of “Family Matters.” The episode was his last role before he passed away in 2000 of natural causes at the age of 98. He earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before passing.

Roz Ryan as Amelia Hetebrink

Roz Ryan attends the Los Angeles opening night performance of "A Bronx Tale" at the Pantages Theatre | Getty Images


Roz Ryan, who portrayed Amelia, is an award-winning Broadway actress. She has appeared in many productions including "Ain’t Misbehavin’," "Dream Girls," and "Chicago."  Her first television role was in “Amen,” which helped her launch a stellar career in television and film.

She went on to star in “Barbershop,” “All About the Andersons,” and “The Rickey Smiley Show.”  She also showed off her amazing voice by doing voice work for “Buzz Lightyear in Star Command," Disney’s "Hercules" as well as “Kim Possible,” “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack” (she was Bubbie!), “Adventure Time,” and as Witch Lezah in “The Looney Tunes Show.”  

Barbara Montgomery as Cassietta Hetebrink


Barbara Montgomery arrives for the opening night performance of "Ain't Misbehavin'" | Getty Images

Barbara already had an established Off-Broadway career. She even bagged an Obie award for her role on "Amen"  which was her first sitcom. 


After “Amen” she went on to appear in hits like “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Living Single,” “A Different World,” and “Sister Sister.”  She also appeared in movies like "Lift" and "Blackout." She then made her directorial debut with the historical film "Mitote."

Elsa Raven as Inga (the housekeeper)

lsa Raven attends Hollywood Museum's "Back To The Future" Trilogy: The Exhibit at The Hollywood Museum | Getty Images


Appearing in just a few episodes of "Amen," Elsa Raven’s portrayal of Swedish housekeeper Inga. Elsa already had a long list of films under her belt including "A Streetcar Named Desire," and "The Postman Rings Twice." just t

She went on to appear in more hits.  She was in “Wiseguy,” “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Murphy Brown,” Titanic, “Seinfeld,” and the short film "They’re With Me." 

Rosetta LeNoire as Leola Henderson/Forbes

Rosetta LeNoire (August 8, 1911 – March 17, 2002), American stage, screen, and television actress, as well as a Broadway producer and casting agent | Wikimedia Commons


Rosetta LeNoire was known for appearing both onscreen and having a say behind the scenes as well. She was a force to be reckoned with on stage as well as being a prominent producer and casting agent who founded the theater group “Amas.” 

After “Amen” she went on to appear in “Maverick Square,” and an episode of “Cosby,” however, one of her best-known roles was as Estelle Winslow, Carl Winslow’s mother on “Family Matters.”  She passed away in 2002 at 90-years-old. She was awarded the National Media Arts award before she passed.