What happened to John Amos

John Allen Amos Jr.[1] (born December 27, 1939) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as the adult Kunta Kinte in the landmark miniseries Roots and for portraying James Evans Sr. on the CBS television series Good Times.[2] Amos’s other television work includes The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a recurring role as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace on The West Wing, and the role of Washington, DC Mayor Ethan Baker in the series The District. Amos has appeared on Broadway and in numerous films in his five-decade career.

He has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and an NAACP Image Award. On film, he has played numerous supporting roles in movies such as The Beastmaster (1982), Coming to America (1988), Lock Up (1989), Die Hard 2 (1990) and Coming 2 America (2021). Prior to his acting career, Amos played college football at Colorado State University. He also had a brief professional football career which included spending a portion of the 1967 offseason for the American Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs.

Early life
Amos was born on December 27, 1939, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Annabelle and John A. Amos Sr., an auto mechanic.[3] He grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, and graduated from East Orange High School in 1958.[4] He enrolled at Long Beach City College and graduated from Colorado State University, qualifying as a social worker with a degree in sociology.[5] Amos played on the school’s football team.[6] After college, he was a Golden Gloves boxing champion.[5]

Football career
In 1964, Amos signed a free agent contract with the American Football League’s Denver Broncos. Unable to run the 40-yard dash because of a pulled hamstring, he was released on the second day of training camp.[7] He then played with the Canton Bulldogs and Joliet Explorers of the United Football League. In 1965, he played with the Norfolk Neptunes and Wheeling Ironmen of the Continental Football League. In 1966, he played with the Jersey City Jets and Waterbury Orbits of the Atlantic Coast Football League.

In 1967, Amos signed a free agent contract with the American Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Hank Stram told him, “You’re not a football player, you’re a man who is trying to play football.”[8] He returned to the Continental League, where he played that year with the Victoria Steelers.

Acting career

On Good Times (1974), L–R: Ralph Carter, BernNadette Stanis, Jimmie Walker, Esther Rolle, and John Amos
Amos became well known in his first major TV role, playing Gordy Howard, the weatherman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, from 1970 until 1973. Upon the death of Betty White, Amos and Joyce Bulifant (who played Marie Slaughter) became the last surviving semi-regular cast members of that show (not counting child actors). In 1971, he appeared with Anson Williams in a commercial for McDonald’s. But he is best known for his portrayal of James Evans Sr., the husband of Florida Evans, first appearing three times on the sitcom Maude before continuing the role in 61 episodes of Good Times from 1974 to 1976.

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