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Here’s What the ‘Good Times’ Cast Is Doing Now 47 Years after the Show First Aired

Bettina Dizon
Aug 13, 2022
02:20 A.M.
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It has been nearly 50 years since "Good Times" first aired, bringing fame to its cast members' careers. Although most of them continued to act after the show ended, some have pursued different paths, while others have already passed away.

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From 1974 to 1979, "Good Times" entertained viewers with its interesting plot that revolved around a less fortunate family who tried to make life better in the Chicago housing projects. The show, created by Mike Evans and Eric Monte, and developed by Normal Lear, starred the African-American Evans family.

The series, starring Ja'net DuBois, Jimmie Walker, BernNadette Stanis, Esther Rolle, and John Amos, significantly impacted viewers' lives and American television. To this day, the show is remembered by many.

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After six episodes, one award, and seven nominations, the cast made their curtain call and moved on with their respective careers. Let's have a glimpse of where they are now.

ESTHER ROLLE AS FLORIDA EVANS

Before the show, Esther Rolle was famous for starring in the 1972 sitcom "Maude." She was a stage actress before being cast in a supporting role in "Maude," which viewers immediately fell in love with and wanted to see more of.

Eventually, she earned her spin-off series, "Good Times," earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best T.V. Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Rolle had several other acting credits, including Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Rosewood," and "Driving Miss Daisy."

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Esther Rolle in costume as Florida Evans for the promotion of "Good Times," Los Angeles, California, 1978. | Source: Getty Images

Esther Rolle in costume as Florida Evans for the promotion of "Good Times," Los Angeles, California, 1978. | Source: Getty Images

In 1978, Rolle won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for Special for her performance in the television film "Summer of My German Soldier."

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Sadly, Rolle passed away on November 17, 1998, a few days after she turned 78, due to complications from diabetes. The actress left behind her divorced husband, Oscar Robinson, who she married in 1955 and separated from in 1975, without any children.

JOHN AMOS AS JAMES EVANS SR.

John Amos was already a known name in the entertainment industry before he landed a role in "Good Times." Before becoming an on-screen actor, Amos took the stage by storm and even founded his own theater company.

John Amos during the Althea screening and panel discussion at One Time Warner Center on October 5, 2015, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

John Amos during the Althea screening and panel discussion at One Time Warner Center on October 5, 2015, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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He later became a television star with a role on "The Mary Tyler Show," "Maude," and "Good Times." However, he left the show after three years over reported creative disputes with the show's developer. In 1977, Amos starred in the miniseries "Roots" and earned an Emmy nomination for his impeccable performance.

His television debut happened with Jack Paar's show in 1972, which eventually led to a role in "Maude" and later, "Good Times," where he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in A Television Series in 1975 and 1976.

Amos continued his career and appeared in the movies "Willa," "The Beastmaster," and "Coming to America," alongside Eddie Murphy. Although he is still active in the industry today, Amos is also a proud father of six children, whom he had with three different women.

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He had two kids with his first wife, Elisabete de Sousa, two kids with his second wife, Noel Jean Mickelson, and another two kids with his third wife, Lillian Lehman, who he divorced in 1979. Amos happily resides in Tewksbury Township, New Jersey.

John Amos during Day 1 of the Chiller Theatre Expo at Sheraton Parsippany Hotel on October 24, 2014, in Parsippany, New Jersey. | Source: Getty Images

John Amos during Day 1 of the Chiller Theatre Expo at Sheraton Parsippany Hotel on October 24, 2014, in Parsippany, New Jersey. | Source: Getty Images

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JA’NET DUBOIS AS WILLONA WOODS

Ja'net DuBois was a multi-talented performer known for being an actress, dancer, singer, and songwriter. Like many Hollywood stars, DuBois made her acting debut in theater and only joined television after gaining experience on stage.

Although she appeared as a series regular in "Love of Life," DuBois made her name known when she received a Peabody Award for the CBS film "J.T." in 1969. She went on to star in "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," "Moesha," and "Charlie's Angeles: Full Throttle" and received two Emmy Awards for her voiceover work.

Beyond her career, DuBois founded the Pan African Film & Arts Festival, which focused on talents from people of African descent. She also has an empowering youth project through the DuBois Care Foundation.

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Ja'net DuBois during the Heroes In The Struggle Gala at Director's Guild of America on December 1, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Ja'net DuBois during the Heroes In The Struggle Gala at Director's Guild of America on December 1, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

DuBois' career in music was also as successful as her acting stints. She co-wrote and sang "The Jeffersons" theme song "Movin' On Up" and released a CD, "Hidden Treasures," in 2008, featuring that soundtrack.

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In 1950, the actress married Sajit Krishna Gupta, with whom she had four children. However, they divorced after eight years. Her son, Raj Kristo Gupta, also died from cancer at 36. Due to cardiac arrest, DuBois later joined her creator on February 17, 2020.

JIMMIE WALKER AS JAMES "J.J." EVANS JR.

Jimmie Walker didn't think Hollywood would be his career path. Before becoming an actor, his interest was in basketball, which did not seem to work well early on. After working a few jobs, he decided to try comedy performance and debuted as the opening act for the poetry group, The Last Poets.

His television debut happened with Jack Paar's show in 1972, which eventually led to a role in "Maude" and later, "Good Times," where he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in A Television Series in 1975 and 1976.

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Jimmie Walker during the 2016 TV Land Icon Awards at The Barker Hanger on April 10, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. | Source: Getty Images

Jimmie Walker during the 2016 TV Land Icon Awards at The Barker Hanger on April 10, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. | Source: Getty Images

While fulfilling his role as JJ, Walker also appeared on "Fantasy Island," "The Love Boat," "Tattletales," "The Match Game," and "Let's Do It Again." His fame skyrocketed after the show, and he had more film credits, including "Airplane!," "Monster Mash: The Movie," and "Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth."

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She has walked down the aisle thrice since marrying Thomas Fauntleroy in 1974, Kerwin Darnell Johnson in 1979, and Terrence Redd in 1981. Sadly, none of her marriages worked out.

Although he continued his acting career, Walker focused on his stand-up career and toured about 25 to 30 weeks yearly. As far as the public knows, the comedian has never tied the knot, nor has he had any children.

BERNNADETTE STANIS AS THELMA EVANS ANDERSON

Stanis is most recognized for her role as Thelma Anderson on "Good Times," the show that launched her career. Throughout the '70s, Stanis displayed grace and charm, which captured the viewers' hearts, although she did not make acting her mainstay.

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Stanis' last on-screen credits date back to 2015, when she appeared in the show "Black Jesus" and the movie "36 Hour Layover." However, she did pursue a career as an author. She penned five books: "The Last Night," "Situations 101: Relationships," Situation 101: Finances," "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," and "For Men Only."

Beyond her professional career, Stanis is a mother of two kids, whom she shares with her first husband, Kevin Fontana. She has walked down the aisle thrice since marrying Thomas Fauntleroy in 1974, Kerwin Darnell Johnson in 1979, and Terrence Redd in 1981. Sadly, none of her marriages worked out.

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She is also a doting grandmother to Leto MaNon, who previously appeared on her Instagram account. Although not much information about her family is known to the public, Stanis did reveal that her granddaughter enjoyed reading amidst the quarantine.

Although many of the cast members have since moved on with their lives, it's nice to know that some of them are still in touch with each other.

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