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Mike Evans
Born November 3, 1949(1949-11-03)
Salisbury, North Carolina
Died December 14, 2006 (aged 57)
Twentynine Palms, California

Michael Jonas Evans (November 3, 1949 – December 14, 2006) (usually credited as Mike Evans), was an American actor and, with Eric Monte, was co-creator of the show Good Times. Ralph Carter's character Michael Evans was named after him.

Evans was born in Salisbury, North Carolina. His father, Theodore Evans Sr., was a dentist, and his mother, Annie Sue Evans, was a school teacher. He attended Palmer Memorial Institute, a private school for young African Americans in Sedalia, North Carolina. 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.

His last TV role was in 2000, on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.

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 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.

References

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

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