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John Amos

John Amos

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Also Known As: Johnny Amos Died:
Born: December 27, 1939 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, producer, director, theater artistic director, comedian, comedy writer, professional football player, copywriter, social worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An imposing veteran actor of stage and screen, John Amos earned his greatest claim to fame as the hardworking but prideful James Evans, Sr. on the hit Norman Lear sitcom "Good Times" (CBS, 1974-79). Though only on the series for its first three seasons - the actor clashed repeatedly with producers and eventually departed - Amos earned a spot in the cultural zeitgeist with what was hailed as one of the most realistic portrayals of an African-American father at the time. In fact, his characterization set the template for other black actors to follow, most notably Bill Cosby in the next decade. Meanwhile, Amos went on to shine in a variety of projects that included the landmark miniseries "Roots" (ABC, 1977), a recurring role as a police captain on the first season of the drama "Hunter" (NBC, 1984-1991), and another recurring role as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006). Of course, he had a number of memorable big screen performances, playing a social climbing restaurateur in "Coming to America" (1988) and a rare villain in "Die Hard 2" (1990). Whether playing military commanders, curmudgeonly father figures or even the occasional terrorist, Amos always brought...

An imposing veteran actor of stage and screen, John Amos earned his greatest claim to fame as the hardworking but prideful James Evans, Sr. on the hit Norman Lear sitcom "Good Times" (CBS, 1974-79). Though only on the series for its first three seasons - the actor clashed repeatedly with producers and eventually departed - Amos earned a spot in the cultural zeitgeist with what was hailed as one of the most realistic portrayals of an African-American father at the time. In fact, his characterization set the template for other black actors to follow, most notably Bill Cosby in the next decade. Meanwhile, Amos went on to shine in a variety of projects that included the landmark miniseries "Roots" (ABC, 1977), a recurring role as a police captain on the first season of the drama "Hunter" (NBC, 1984-1991), and another recurring role as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006). Of course, he had a number of memorable big screen performances, playing a social climbing restaurateur in "Coming to America" (1988) and a rare villain in "Die Hard 2" (1990). Whether playing military commanders, curmudgeonly father figures or even the occasional terrorist, Amos always brought authority and gravitas to every project in which he appeared.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

3.
 Dr. Dolittle 3 (2006)
4.
 Lichnyy Nomer (2006)
5.
 My Baby's Daddy (2004) Uncle Virgil
6.
 Countdown (2004)
7.
 Ralph Ellison: An American Journey (2002) Doctor Bledsoe
8.
 Against Time (2000)
9.
 Disappearing Acts (2000) Mr Swift
10.
 Player's Club (1998) Freeman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Played professional football in American, Canadian and Continental Leagues
:
Worked as social worker at the Vera Institute of Justice, NYC
:
Worked as advertising copywriter
:
Began performing stand-up comedy in Greenwich Village
1969:
Was a staff writer on the CBS variety series "The Leslie Uggams Show"
1970:
Played recurring role of Gordy the weatherman on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS)
:
Broadway debut, "Tough to Get Help"
1971:
Early feature credit, "Sweet Sweetback's Badassss Song", credited as Johnny Amos
1971:
Was a regular on the summer sitcom "The Funny Side" (NBC)
:
Had recurring role of Henry Evans, the husband of maid Florida (Esther Rolle) on the CBS sitcom "Maude"
:
Reprised role of Florida Evans' husband, now named James in the CBS spin-off "Good Times"
1976:
Left "Good Times" in dispute over direction of show; character killed off
1977:
Won acclaim as the adult Kunta Kinte in the landmark ABC miniseries, "Roots"
:
Played Captain Dolan on season of "Hunter"
:
For one season, played Captain Dolan on the NBC police drama "Hunter"
:
Directed, produced and scripted the film "Grambling Takes It All Back Home"
1990:
Performed in his own one-person show, "Hailey's Comet"
1990:
Co-starred in feature films "Die Hard 2: Die Harder"
1994:
Returned to series TV in the short-lived sitcom "704 Hauser Street" (CBS)
:
Had regular role on "In the House" (NBC)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Colorado State University: Colorado Springs , Colorado -
Long Beach City College: Long Beach , California -

Notes

Artistic director to the Keane-Brown Center Stage, New Jersey

Member of the Young Men's Christian Association

"I played football for a long time, and I boxed, and I felt when I first came into the business that physical confrontation was the best way to resolve any issue. And I wasn't the world's greatest diplomat. So, when things got tight, not having the maturity I'd like to think I've acquired, I was ready to, in the street vernacular, 'throw down,' you know?" --John Amos in NEWSDAY, April 10, 1994

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lily Amos. Divorced; mother of his two children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John A Amos.
mother:
Annabell P Amos.
daughter:
Shannon Patrice Amos.
son:
K C Amos.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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