Clifton Powell Black Actor Appreciation: John Amos

John Amos Jr. is an accomplished Black actor, born on December 27, 1939, in Newark, New Jersey. Since the 1970’s, Amos has become a respected figure in the entertainment industry for his versatile acting skills and dedication to his craft. The man who we know as Cleo McDowell, James Evans, Sr, and Grant would win us over time and time again when he garners the screen.

Amos rose to prominence with his iconic role as the aforementioned, James Evans Sr., in the groundbreaking television series “Good Times,” which aired from 1974 to 1979. His portrayal of a working-class father navigating the challenges of Chicago life resonated with audiences and solidified his place as a talented actor. Amos brought depth and authenticity to his character, addressing social issues and creating a lasting impact on television.

Prior to “Good Times,” John Amos was featured in “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song“. His memorable performances continued on the big screen, with notable roles in films such as “Coming to America” (1988), where he played the father of McDowell’s in Queens, and “Roots” (1977), a groundbreaking miniseries that explored the history of slavery, where he potrayed the elder version of Kunta Kinte,

He would pop in for feature roles during the 70’s & 80’s on shows like “Sanford and Son”, “The A-Team”, “One Life to Live”, “Murder She Wrote”, and “The Cosby Show”. You may have seen him own scenes in cultural classics from “Let’s Do It Again” and “The Beastmaster”.

Beyond his achievements in the entertainment industry, Amos is known for his activism and advocacy. He has been a vocal supporter of various social causes, particularly those related to rights of Blacks and representation in the media. His commitment to community engagement and positive social change reflects his broader impact beyond the screen.

John Amos Jr. is a true trailblazer in the world of entertainment, leaving an indelible mark on television and film. His legacy extends beyond his acting career, encompassing his dedication to social justice and advocacy for a more inclusive and equitable society.

Other Appearances

  • Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  • Martin
  • Walker, Texas Ranger
  • In The House
  • My Baby Daddy
  • Dr. Dolittle 3
  • Madea’s Witness Protection
  • The Last O.G.
  • Coming 2 America
  • The Righteous Gemstones