- John Amos, who played family patriarch “James Evans, Sr.” and has starred in many other TV and film roles.
- Jimmie Walker, who played oldest sibling “J.J. Evans” and became a national sensation with his “Dyn-O-Mite” personality, even inspiring J.J. toys (dolls, at least).
- Ralph Carter, who played J.J.’s younger brother, “Michael Evans”.
- Bern Nadette Stanis, who played the Evans’ only daughter, “Thelma Evans”, who eventually married pro football player “Keith” (see below).
- Johnny Brown, who played building superintendent “Nathan Bookman”, Willona’s longtime nemesis.
- Janet Jackson, who played “Penny Woods”, Willona’s adopted daughter, and who of course is Michael Jackson’s sister who has had a very successful music career of her own.
- Chip Fields, who played Penny’s abusive birth mother, “Linella Gordon” and who is the mother of actor Kim Fields (Facts of Life, Living Single).
Among series regulars who have passed away are:
Esther Rolle (“Florida Evans”), who died at age 78 in Culver City, California, in 1998 from complications related to diabetes.
Ben Powers (“Keith Anderson”), who died at age 64 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, after battle with liver cancer.
Moses Gunn (“Carl Dixon”) who died in Guilford, Connecticut, late in 1993 from complications related to asthma.
In addition, several other actors with recurring roles on Good Times have passed away. Those include:
- Albert Reed (“Alderman Fred Davis”) — died in 1986
- Teddy Wilson (“Sweet Daddy Williams”) — died in 1991
- Helen Martin (“Weeping Wanda Williams”) — died in 2000
- Dap Sugar Willie (“Looting Lenny”) — died in 1994
- Matthew ‘Stymie’ Beard (“Monty”) — died in 1981
- Raymond Allen (“Ned the Wino”) — died in 2020
- Bubba Smith (“Claude”) — died in 2011