"Television can be a wonderful training ground, or it can be a wonderful career. It has been for me. It's all been one hell of a ride."
About This Interview
In his three-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, John Amos recalls his early years as a football player and making the transition into acting and writing. He talks about becoming a writer for The Leslie Uggams Show, which led to him being cast as "Gordy the Weatherman" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He describes his role of "Henry Evans" on Maude, which led to him playing family patriarch "James Evans" on Good Times. He talks in-depth about the character of "James Evans," his clashes with series creator Norman Lear, and his departure from the show. Amos also outlines his role as "Kunta Kinte" on the groundbreaking ABC miniseries Roots. He discusses his Roots co-stars, as well as the program's effect on the way African-Americans were seen and portrayed on television. He speaks of his role of "Percy Fitzwallace," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on The West Wing, and several other acting roles including his one man show, "Halley's Comet." Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on December 2, 2014 in Woodland Hills, CA.