Jimmie Walker Said He Never Spoke to These “Good Times” Co-Stars

Jimmie Walker Said He Never Spoke to These “Good Times” Co-Stars

The members of the Evans household on Good Instances all had very totally different personalities, however they all the time got here collectively to make it by means of powerful conditions. In actual life, nevertheless, the celebrities of the 1970s sitcom weren’t as tight as they appeared onscreen. Jimmie Walker, who performed breakout character J.J., has mentioned that, when it got here to 2 different members of the primary solid, he barely knew something about them, they “by no means talked,” and so they had been “by no means associates.”

Walker, now 75, starred on the collection for all six of its seasons, from 1974 to 1979, because the eldest Evans youngster. J.J. was a painter, obsessive about girls, and all the time saying his catchphrase “dy-no-mite!” He additionally regularly aggravated his members of the family, together with youthful brother Michael (Ralph Carter), sister Thelma (Bern Nadette Stanis), and oldsters Florida (Esther Rolle) and James (John Amos). However when the cameras weren’t rolling, that familial bond apparently wasn’t there. Learn on to see what Walker has needed to say about that stress through the years.

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In an interview with the Tv Academy in 2017, Walker mentioned that he did not converse to Rolle or Amos after they weren’t on set.

“I’ll truthfully say, I do not bear in mind ever talking a phrase to Esther the entire time she was there,” Walker mentioned. Rolle, who died in 1998, appeared on the primary 4 seasons of the present, skipped Season 5, and returned for the ultimate season.

“I feel the identical principally goes for John [Amos],” Walker continued. “We discuss extra now, somewhat bit, however very, little or no. We had been by no means associates. We by no means talked. In case you mentioned at the moment, ‘Name Esther and ask her about…’ I would not even have her quantity. I could not have referred to as John. I would not have had his quantity. We by no means spoke to one another. Solely on the set.”

Esther Rolle and Jimmie Walker on
Sony Footage Tv

Walker did not clarify precisely why he did not turn out to be shut with Rolle and Amos, however it’s well-documented that each co-stars had sturdy emotions about J.J. When the present was nonetheless airing, Ebony revealed a narrative about points between the solid and manufacturing, significantly when it got here to how their Black characters had been portrayed. Rolle took subject with J.J.’s comedic function changing into bigger and bigger whereas the opposite Evans youngsters’s elements grew smaller.

“He is 18 and he does not work. He cannot learn and write. He does not suppose,” Rolle mentioned of J.J. “The present did not begin out to be that. [Ralph Carter’s character] Michael’s function … of a vibrant, considering youngster has been subtly decreased … I resent the imagery that claims to Black children that you would be able to make it by standing on the nook saying, ‘Dy-no-mite!'”

Esther Rolle and John Amos on
Sony Footage Tv

Amos was let go from the present after the third season on account of a dispute with manufacturing over cash and different points, in response to Ebony. Like Rolle, he additionally had an issue with J.J.

“They selected to go for the apparent and the comedic. It began to dissipate into one thing I wasn’t terribly happy with,” Amos advised Vulture in 2015. “I believed there was somewhat an excessive amount of buffoonery. And it wasn’t a matter of being jealous of [Jimmie Walker]. I like comedians; I like anybody who might make someone chuckle. However by the identical token, I had these different two youngsters within the household, and I felt it was doing a disservice to them and to the picture of younger folks to say, ‘You guys do not actually matter. We’re extra curious about seeing J.J. with a hen hat on.’ At the least that is the way in which I noticed it.”

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John Amos and Esther Rolle on
Sony Footage Tv

In his interview with the Tv Academy, Walker praised his TV dad and mom as actors.

“They’re all superb actors, I do not take something away from their expertise,” he mentioned. “Their expertise is super.” Requested if he loved performing with them, he mentioned, “I do not suppose ‘take pleasure in’ is the phrase. I feel I appreciated their abilities. John is a superb actor … I feel it was simply this present, this example, that was in opposition to something and all the things that he believed in.”

Walker continued, “He was super in Roots, he was super in [The] West Wing. If he would have had that very same angle with us, I feel we might have been in a lot better form.”

John Amos, Bern Nadette Stanis, Jimmie Walker, and Ralph Carter at Chiller Theatre Expo in 2014
Bobby Financial institution/WireImage by way of Getty Pictures

Walker posited that the present may need continued on for extra seasons if the solid members had been on the identical web page.

“We ran by means of super adversity for 4 and a half years, no matter it was,” he mentioned. “If we had had any form of like, love no matter, I do not know the way lengthy we might have gone. I feel that they killed the goose that laid the golden egg.”

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In 2014, in his personal interview with the Tv Academy, Amos talked about reuniting with Walker at an occasion for followers.

“Not too long ago, we had our second reunion, and there was an enormous autograph present in Parsippany, New Jersey,” he mentioned. “And it was the primary time in 40 years that Jimmy, Ralph Carter, who performed my youngest son Michael, Bern Nadette Stanis was there … It was great in spite of everything these years, 40 years of working with that household to be reunited with them it was a great feeling.”

Amos, now 82, additionally mentioned of engaged on Good Instances, “Certain, we had artistic variations as all solid members do about each undertaking you are concerned in, however nothing that defeated the aim of the present. Nonetheless turned out to be a humorous present.”

The surviving solid members additionally reunited for a Reside in Entrance of a Studio Viewers particular for Good Instances in 2019. Whereas Amos was a part of the episode reenactment, Walker, Stanis, and Ja’Internet DuBois, who performed Willona, had been there as particular company.

Initially Revealed by – Lia Beck

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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