John Amos is a proud dad of two children he shares with his first ex-wife. Last year, the actor’s daughter Shannon Amos shared about her parents’ interracial marriage on Instagram.
Legendary American Actor John Amos is famous for playing iconic characters on television in his heydays. He is best known for portraying James Evans, Sr., on “Good Times” and playing the adult Kunta Kinte in the 1977 miniseries “Roots.”
Besides those roles, he also starred in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The West Wing,” and “The District.” He also appeared on Broadway and starred in several movies in a five-decade-long career.
One of his most known films is “Coming to America,” which was released in 1988. He also appeared in the film’s sequel, “Coming 2 America,” released earlier this year.
Despite his long career, most people still associate John with his role as James Evans Sr. on “Good Times.” He held the role from the series’ first season until his dismissal in 1976.
During an interview with “Sway in the Morning,” John explained why he was fired from the show. He said he desired to make “Good Times” more authentic, but it made him clash with producers, who misunderstood him.
The legendary actor said when the show started, there were no African-American writers. Therefore, some of the attitudes written for his character and others seemed unrealistic to him.
However, they questioned his reasoning and went on about their credits and other things. Still, John looked at each one of them and asked them how long they had been Black.
He further explained to them that some of the things written could not happen in the Black community. Despite having good intentions, John did not express his grievances professionally.
His speaking out eventually resulted in his character being killed off from the show. John explained that he left because he was told producers no longer needed his services as he had become a disruptive element.
John revealed it was the show’s producer, Norman Lear, who broke the news of his dismissal to him. During a chat with Vulture, he further explained his firing but said he had made up with Lear.
He said he matured and realized his mistakes in addressing his grievances about scripts. He observed that he was confrontational and people got tired of him.
John revealed he saw Lear and told him to his face that he would have fired himself too. He explained that life was too short for putting up with someone unhappy about a job they were being paid handsomely for.
Despite John’s dismissal, he made a surprise appearance in a “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” “Good Times” Special in 2019. However, during his appearance, he did not reprise his role as James Evans but played Alderman Fred Davis, a man running for local office.
Away from John’s career, he is also a family man. He has been married twice in his lifetime. His first was an interracial marriage to Noel Mickelson, an artist, and equestrian.
The union led to the birth of John’s only two children, daughter Shannon Amos, a writer/producer and founder of Afterglow Multimedia, LLC, and son, K.C. Amos, a Grammy-nominated director.
John’s marriage to Mickelson lasted just ten years (1965 to 1975) but still seems fresh to his children. To celebrate Loving Day last year, Shannon shared a story of her parents’ marriage on her Instagram page.
She shared a photo of John and Mickelson posing all smiles on their wedding day. In the post’s caption, Shannon wrote:
“IT WAS ILLEGAL IN 16 STATES FOR WHITES TO MARRY BLACKS WHEN MY PARENTS GOT MARRIED IN 1965. My Dad met & fell in love w/ my Mom while attending college at Colorado State University.”
Shannon said her dad was from the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, while her mom was from the small midwest town of Estherville, Iowa.
She revealed her parents loved each other at first sight, but it was a tumultuous time in the world. Two months after they tied the knot, Malcolm X was killed while Martin Luther King was gunned down two years later.
However, amid all the chaos, John and Mickelson gave birth to Shannon. They birthed her a year before they were recognized as a legal couple in 16 states. Shannon also wrote:
“By 1968, Loving vs. The State of Virginia, became a landmark civil rights case. The U.S. Supreme court struck down laws banning interracial marriage.”
Shannon narrated the story and how the Supreme Court ruled in their favor and legalized their marriage on June 12, 1967.
Shannon also said she did not know her parents were of different colors as a child. Instead, she only saw them as the two people who loved her. She continued:
“One day, when I was 5 years old, that all changed. My parents took me on cross country road trip. As we pulled into a gas station in Arizona, a white man came out of the service station w/ a loaded shot gun.”
Shannon revealed that the man aimed the gun at her dad and told him to get his “White trash” (referring to her mom) and their child off his property.
Everything changed for Shannon that day. Her parents did not have any choice other than to explain the man’s threatening behavior to her. They were forced to introduce her to racism, and it forever changed her innocent view of the world.
Shannon speaks highly of her mom. To mark Mother’s Day, she described Mickelson in glowing terms. She revealed her mother defined what it means to be a great mom by being tender, nurturing, and patient.
She described her mom as an artistic woman who taught her and her brother how to express themselves creatively.
Shannon also said her mom was a true renaissance woman, a free spirit, artist, feminist, world-ranked equestrian, environmentalist, architect, and more.
She added that Mickelson did not let men and women’s roles define her but taught her that women could do anything they set their minds to.
Like his sister, K.C. also speaks highly of his mom. He has shared several Instagram posts showing Mickelson. For example, on August 23, 2013, he shared a picture of himself and his mother.
In the post’s caption, he revealed he was chilling with her for her birthday before adding that she was the greatest mom in the world in his perspective, as all moms are great.
In 2014, he shared a photo that his family took on his mom’s birthday. The picture showed him, John, and his sister posing with Mickelson and laughing out loud.
In 2015, K.C. shared another sweet photo of himself and his mom cuddling each other on her birthday, which he made special by being there with her.
On January 5, 2017, K.C. shared a throwback snap of Mickelson posing beside a snowman she built. In his caption, he wrote that everything his mom creates is larger than life before, adding that the photo was taken in the 1960s, a couple of winters before his birth.
That same day, he shared another photo of her posing with her horse, Ondelay, who she named thus because he could get up and go and had incredible endurance.
K.C. also takes time to honor his dad. He wrote an article on Black America Web where he paid tribute to his famous father and described him as his hero.
John’s second marriage was to Lillian Lehman. They tied the knot in 1978 but divorced a year later. The iconic actor resided in Tewksbury Township, New Jersey but now lives in Westcliffe, Colorado.
John has done well in his career and should be proud of his achievements. His kids are most proud of him and continue to live by the values he taught them.