John Amos

John Amos
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Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Birth Name: John Allen Amos Jr.  

Nickname/Stage Name: John Amos

Birth Date: December 27, 1939  

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Occupation: Actor

Years Active: 1970 till Present

Net Worth: $3 million

Personal life

John Amos was born in Newark, New Jersey. He served in the New Jersey National Guard's 50th Armored Division and is the Honorary Master Chief of the United States Coast Guard.

He has had two marriages. From 1965 to 1975, he was married to Noel Mickelson, an artist and equestrian, with whom he had two children: Shannon Amos, a writer/producer and the founder of Afterglow Multimedia, LLC, and Grammy-nominated director K.C. Amos. Lillian Lehman, an actress, was his second wife.

Amos has lived in Tewksbury Township, New Jersey, for many years.


He graduated from East Orange High School In 1958 and also attended Long Beach City College before graduating from Colorado State University.


The actor became famous after his first major television role as Gordy Howard in The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970 to 1973). In 1971, he was seen alongside Anson Williams in a McDonald's commercial.

Amos played the role of a young Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking TV miniseries Roots based on the book by Alex Haley. He got an Emmy nomination for his performance.

He made guest appearances on other TV shows, including Police StoryThe A-TeamThe Cosby ShowThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Martin.

The star was featured in Disney's The World's Greatest Athlete (1973) and also starred in Let's Do It Again (1975). His other movie credits are Vanishing PointThe President's Plane Is Missing, The BeastmasterComing to AmericaTwo Evil EyesDie Hard 2, and Ricochet.

In 2021, Amos reprised his role as Cleo McDowell in Coming 2 America, the sequel to the 1988 hit comedy starring Eddie Murphy.


TV Land Groundbreaking Show Award (2004)

TV Land Impact Icon Award (2006)

TV Land Anniversary Award (2007)


"I love my work and am grateful to God to have a profession that brings joy to so many."

"There are three stages in an actor's career; Who is John Amos? Get me John Amos. Get me a young John Amos."

"They killed my character off and as God would have it, just when they told me I would never work again, I got cast in a little program called Roots, and as they say, the rest is history."


Has two children; K.C. Amos and Shannon Amos.

Played professional football in the late 1960s.

He was once a Golden Gloves boxing champion.


Vanishing Point (1971)

The World's Greatest Athlete (1973)

Touched by Love (1980)

The Beastmaster (1982)

American Flyers (1985)

Coming to America (1988)

Die Hard 2 (1990)

Night Trap (1993)

The Players Club (1998)

All Over Again (2001)

My Baby's Daddy (2004)

Dr. Dolittle 3 (2006)

Lean Like a Cholo (2010)

Act of Faith (2014)

Hauntsville (2016)

Uncut Gems (2019)

Coming 2 America (2021)

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