'Jeffersons' Actor Mike Evans Dies
Also created and acted in 'Good Times'
With writing partner Eric Monte, Evans went on to create and write for "Good Times," one of the first TV sitcoms that featured a primarily African American cast.
Michael Jonas Evans was born Nov. 3, 1949, in Salisbury, N.C., to a dentist father, Theodore Evans Sr., and his schoolteacher wife, Annie Sue Evans.
The family moved to Los Angeles when Mike was a child. He graduated from Los Angeles High School and studied acting at Los Angeles City College before landing the role of Lionel Jefferson in Norman Lear's iconic 1970s situation comedy "All in the Family."
Evans kept the role of Lionel when "The Jeffersons" was launched in 1975 as a spinoff featuring bigoted Archie Bunker's black neighbors in Queens who "move on up to the East Side" of Manhattan and an upscale life.
Evans was replaced by Damon Evans (no relation) for four years, then he returned to the series from 1979 to 1981.
He also acted in the 1976 TV miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man" and made guest appearances on the TV series "Love, American Style" and "The Streets of San Francisco." His last role was in a 2000 episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger."