‘Roots’ Actor John Amos Explains How The Ancestors Spoke To Him

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John Amos is the type of “man’s man” kind of actor. Always playing a strong male lead, Amos got his start in acting after becoming a veteran of the 50th Armored Division of the New Jersey National Guard and Honorary Master Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Amos is best known for playing characters James Evans, Sr., the husband of Florida Evans, appearing three times on the sitcom Maude before continuing the role in 61 episodes of Good Times from 1974 to 1976. Amos, much like series’ co-star Rolle, wanted to portray a positive image of an African American family, struggling against the odds in the ghetto of Chicago.

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But it was Amos’ breakout role on the iconic made-for-television mini-series “Roots” that garnered him critical acclaim. Playing the role of Kunta Kente/Toby grown up, Roots received 37 Emmy Award nominations and won nine.

Amos himself was nominated for an Emmy. Roots went on to win