John Amos of 'Good Times' Reflects on Life after Show & His Character Getting Terminated

Gracious Egedegbe
Apr 11, 2020
08:00 P.M.

Actor John Amos talked about how his character's termination from "Good Times" affected him, his life after the show and also revealed his love for Africa.


When characters get booted off a show, it tells on the actor, the show, and, most importantly, the viewers. John Amos, who played the role of James in "Good Times," recently revealed his experience after he lost the position.

While many viewers claimed that the show was never as good afterward, John appears to have been indifferent, "It hurt my paycheck, but it didn't hurt me."

 John Amos at "Showing Roots" New York Screening SVA Theatre on May 17, 2016 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

John Amos at "Showing Roots" New York Screening SVA Theatre on May 17, 2016 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Amos was kicked off the show due to differences between him and the producer, at the time, Norman Lear. The star actor had been on "Good Times" for three seasons when he was fired.

After he was fired, he decided to travel to Africa. The author had fallen in love with the continent on a previous trip there. John frequented Liberia and built business relationships with some people there.


Late in 2019, John got the opportunity to reunite with the "Good Times" cast, during a special live episode with a studio audience. He was pleased about it and described the experience as a blessing.


Amos appeared in the episode but did not portray his original character. He played opposite his character, but he was not bummed at all, as the actor who replaced him was a successful one. The 80-year-old was very flattered.

The actor had his big break when he played the role of Gordy on a CBS show: "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Although the 80-year-old fell out with Norman when he got fired, they have resolved their differences. The duo even united to produce three more pilots, but unfortunately, all were unsuccessful.

When asked about Lear in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, "... He's the most creative person I've ever worked with in my career, and I feel so blessed to have been able to work with him again."


"Good Times" was not the only widely known show the TV star was on. He played Kunta Kante on "Roots," which had 37 Emmy award nominations and grabbed nine.

While John was on the set of "Roots," he claimed that his ancestors spoke to him. Amos figured it out all by himself and said that they had told him to remain healthy and brave.

The actor had his big break when he played the role of Gordy, the weatherman on a CBS show: "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

John only appeared 12 times during the three seasons he acted in, but he still got a spotlight episode during the final season of the show.

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