Good Times Wiki
Mike Evans
Mike Evans.jpg
Mike Evans created the CBS-TV series Good Times with screenwriter Eric Monte.
Personal Information
Birthname: Michael Jonas Evans
Born: (1949-11-03)November 3, 1949
Birthplace: Salisbury, North Carolina, U.S.
Died December 14, 2006(2006-12-14) (aged 57)
Deathplace: Twentynine Palms, California, U.S.
Career information
Actor, Director, comedy writer, producer
Years active: 1971–1985
Known for: playing the part of Lionel Jefferson on The Jeffersons
Job on series Co-creator of Good Times;; with Eric Monte

Michael Jonas "Mike" Evans (November 3, 1949 – December 14, 2006) along with Eric Monte, co-created the CBS series Good Times, which was spun off of the Maude series, which itself was an All In The Family spinoff series. Actor Ralph Carter's character Michael Evans was named after him.

Mike Evans, was mentioned in the audio archives of the Smithsonian Institute as being a member of the AAFA. The AAFA (African American Film Association, formerly N.A.G (Negro Actors Guild) is the oldest known Black Actors organization that has records, documents and minutes of the early Black actors, writers and Black pioneers of early Black actors, writers and directors. Mike Evans and Eric Monte are the latest addition to the audio history archives of the Smithsonian Institute and the African American Museum in Washington DC

Mostly recognized for his work as an actor, Mike appeared in seasons 1-5 of All In The Family as Lionel Jefferson, son of George and Louise Jefferson, the Black next-door neighbors of the Bunker's, and a good friend of Gloria and Mike. His and the other Jefferson characters with the exception of Henry Jefferson, were spun off into The Jeffersons TV series; he reprised the role in its first season before leaving to create the Good Times series. He would return to The Jeffersons after the network TV run of Good Times was over in its fifth season, appearing on a recurring basis from its ninth season until its cancellation in 1985.

Life and career[]

Evans was born in Salisbury, North Carolina. His father, Theodore Evans Sr., was a dentist, and his mother, Annie Sue Evans, a school teacher. He attended Palmer Memorial Institute, a private school for young African-Americans in Sedalia, North Carolina just outside of Greensboro. His family later moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Los Angeles High School. He studied acting at Los Angeles City College.[1]

Evans is most famous for creating the recurring role of Lionel Jefferson on All In The Family and was the first (and eventually final) actor to play Lionel on the spin-off The Jeffersons. He played Lionel on The Jeffersons for much of its 11-year run, with the majority of his appearances occurring from 1979 to 1983. Actor and opera singer Damon Evans (no relation to Michael) played the role for a few years of The Jeffersons, as Mike Evans was occupied in the production of Good Times. He returned after Good Times ended in 1979.

Mike's last TV role was in 2000, on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.

Personal/family life[]

Evans was also a real estate investor and owned properties in California's Inland Empire.

As the original Lionel, his absence was noticed at a Sherman Hemsley TV Land special that aired on April 26, 2006. The other living cast members of The Jeffersons were present (with the exception of Paul Benedict), as well as Sally Struthers and the cast of Hemsley's other series Amen and Goode Behavior.

Evans was the father of two daughters, Carlena Harris and Tammy Evans.


Evans died of throat cancer at his mother's home in Twentynine Palms, California at the age of 57. The announcement of his death was released a week later.


  1. "Mike Evans." Biography Resource Center Online. Gale, 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. Fee. Updated 06/01/2007. Retrieved 16January2009. Document Number: K1650005514.

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