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Mike Evans

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Clean cut and smoothly handsome as a youth, Mike Evans got on board the Norman Lear TV train in the early 1970s and took a straight ride to sitcom stardom in both a landmark comedy series and its black-oriented spin-off. Born Michael Jonas Evans in Salisbury, North Carolina, on November 3, 1949, his dentist father and school instructor mother moved the family to Los Angeles when Mike was quite young. Graduating from Los Angeles High School, he attended Los Angeles City College before his abrupt TV success.Landing the role of black next-door neighbor Lionel Jefferson in Lear's iconic sitcom All in the Family was a lucky fluke -- something every fledgling actor should get to experience. In fact, Mike was still attending acting school when he was cast in the 1971 show at age 21. The series altered the course of TV comedy while tackling many then-taboo subjects, including racial prejudice. Due to the quality of the cast and writing, the series managed to thoroughly engage and entertain an audience despite it being fronted by a blue-collar bigot in the form of Archie Bunker (played by the great Carroll O'Connor). As the calm, intelligent, level-headed Lionel, son of hothead George (Sherman Hemsley) and his beleaguered wife Louise Jefferson (Isabel Sanford), Lionel's liberal-minded stance was more akin to Archie's live-in younger generation. As friend to Archie's daughter Gloria and her husband Mike, Lionel had to somehow tolerate his grouchy neighbor's exasperating politically-incorrect banter, but made up for it with clever, carefully-worded digs at the often-clueless Archie. During the run of the show, Mike also boosted his visibility with the TV-movies Killer by Night, Call Her Mom and Voyage of the Yes co-starring Desi Arnaz Jr., not to mention the Disney family comedy feature Now You See Him, Now You Don't starring Kurt Russell.The hit series spun the Jefferson clan into their own "moving on up" sitcom The Jeffersons four years later. The "moving on up" was from Queens to a "deluxe apartment" in Manhattan, where the burgeoning, financially successful George now held court as head intolerant. Mike's character eventually met and fell for Jenny, the beautiful product of an interracial marriage. This became a major source of combustible comedy material that initially fed the new sitcom. In the meantime Mike and writing partner Eric Monte had also co-created and was writing for another Lear sitcom Good Times, which was a spin-off of Lear's comedy hit Maude, which, in turn, was a spin-off of sitcom daddy All in the Family.The major responsibilities and hardships of writing for "Good Times", which became one of the first TV sitcoms to feature a primarily African-American cast in quite some time, took its toll and Mike began making fewer appearances as Lionel. In fact he left the role completely in the fall of 1975 after only eight months to focus on his writing, and was replaced by actor Damon Evans (no relation to Mike), who inhabited the part for four seasons. Mike eventually reclaimed the part in 1979 after the cancellation of "Good Times". His character of Lionel, however, had dwindled so significantly in importance that he left the show again in 1981, this time for good. The family show ended its long run in 1985 after a decade.Mike took on a low profile after his 1970s successes and was not seen onscreen again. By this time he had delved into Southern California real estate. He died of throat cancer in 2006 at age 57 at his mother's home in Twentynine Palms, California.  See full bio on IMDb »

Cops: Mike Evans Was DETAINED After Nightclub Fight

Mike Evans Was Detained After Nightclub Fight

Tampa Bay Buc rookie wide receiver Mike Evans was DETAINED by Miami Beach PD after a nightclub fight in March ... after he was KICKED OUT of the club ... cops tell TMZ Sports. We broke the… READ MORE >

Mike Evans' Agent - NFL Knew About Fight ... BEFORE '14 Draft [Update]

Mike Evans' Agent:
NFL Knew About Fight Before 2014 Draft [Update: Agent Changes His Story]

4:10 PM PT -- Gilmore is now changing his tune. Despite the fact he told us on the record that the NFL "was aware" of the fight BEFORE the draft, he has now changed his story ... and is… READ MORE >

- 122 days ago
NFL Rookie Mike Evans -- INSANE NIGHTCLUB BRAWL ... Throws Punches at Bouncers

NFL Rookie Mike Evans
INSANE NIGHTCLUB BRAWL Throws Punches at Bouncers [Update]

Tampa Bay Bucs rookie wide receiver Mike Evans was in the middle of an INSANE nightclub brawl -- fighting bouncers in the street ... and TMZ Sports has the footage. It all went down outside… READ MORE >

- 122 days ago
Ricky Williams -- I Love that Mike Evans Signed With Cash Money

Ricky Williams
I Love that Mike Evans Signed With Cash Money

Ricky Williams tells TMZ Sports ... he thinks it's "amazing" that Texas A&M star Mike Evans signed with Cash Money Sports ... saying, "It's unfortunate it took 15 years for athletes signing… READ MORE >

- 280 days ago
Mike Evans -- First Pic With Cash Money Sports Crew

Mike Evans
First Pic With Cash Money Sports Crew

Here it is ... the first photo of Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans with his new agents -- Birdman and Slim from Cash Money Sports ... and they mean BUSINESS. TMZ Sports broke the story ...… READ MORE >

- 281 days ago
Texas A&M Star Mike Evans -- Signs with Cash Money Sports

Texas A&M Star Mike Evans

Cash Money Sports is officially in business -- TMZ Sports has learned the agency has just signed its first high profile athlete ... Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans. Evans -- considered… READ MORE >

- 283 days ago

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