Janet Jackson, BernNadette Stanis pay tribute to ‘Good Times’ co-star Johnny Brown

Oscars luncheon
The cast of “Good Times” included (back row from left): Janet Jackson, Ja’net DuBois, Ralph Carter and Johnny Brown. Front row: Jimmie Walker and BernNadette Stanis.
(CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images)

“Good Times” actors BernNadette Stanis and Janet Jackson paid tribute to their co-star Johnny Brown this weekend following his death at 84.

Brown, who died March 2, played building superintendent Nathan Bookman on the 1970s sitcom co-created by Mike Evans, Norman Lear and Eric Monte. The beloved series was a spin-off of “Maude” and starred John Amos and Esther Rolle. It aired on CBS from 1974 to 1979 and featured Brown — often as a punchline — in nearly 60 episodes.

The actor and singer was also a regular on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” appeared on Broadway and alongside legendary singer Sammy Davis Jr. His other roles include credits for “The Wiz,” “Alvin & the Chipmunks,” “Martin” and “227.”


Stanis, who played Thelma Evans on “Good Times,” said she was “devastated” to hear about Brown’s death.

“I will miss all the stories about Sammy Davis Jr. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and even John Wayne,” Stanis wrote Saturday on Instagram. “His talent was beyond measure…. He was such a pleasure to work with. I certainly will miss his happy spirit and big smile. Praying for his family in every way. RIP my wonderful friend I will truly miss you.”

Esther Rolle, a sharecropper’s daughter who grew up to become a respected actress and role model for other blacks, has died.

“That’s the Way Love Goes” singer Jackson, who played abused child Penny Gordon Woods in Season 5, also shared her condolences via Twitter.

“Such loving memories of our time together. You were full of laughter and forever smiling. Always so sweet and so kind to me. I love you and will miss you,” she wrote on Saturday.

Brown’s daughter Sharon Catherine Brown announced his death in an Instagram post on March 4 but did not state the cause of death.

“Our family is devastated. Devastated. Devastated. Beyond heartbroken. Barely able to breathe,” the artist wrote. “We respectfully ask for privacy at this time because we need a minute to process the unthinkable. To articulate the depths of profound sadness... It’s too terrible. It will never not be. It’s a shock. He was literally snatched out of our lives. It’s not real for us yet. So there will be more to say but not now. Dad was the absolute best. We love him so very much.”

According to her post, Brown is survived by his wife, Jane Russell, son JJ, grandchildren Elijah and Levi and his older brother, George.