Q: Why did John Amos leave “Good Times”? The show wasn’t as good after he left.
A: Amos was fired from the show and his character killed off after he often complained about the show’s writing. In a widely reported interview on the show “Sway in the Morning” in 2017, Amos said: “When the show first started, we had no African-American writers on the show, and some of the attitudes they had written, as per my character and, frankly, for some of the other characters, as well, caused me to say: ‘We can’t do this, we can’t do that.’
“And they’d say, ‘What do you mean we can’t do this?’ They’d go on about their credits ... and I’d look at each and every one of them and say, ‘Well, how long have you been black? That just doesn’t happen in the community. We don’t think that way. We don’t act that way. We don’t let our children do that.’ ” Amos said he was not diplomatic in his complaints, and he was let go. But he did return to “Good Times” in a way in 2019, when he made a surprise appearance during a live re-creation of a “Good Times” episode on ABC.
A lost ending
Q: We recently watched “The Devil’s Brigade.” Somehow the movie’s ending was cut off. The bombardment had ended. Canadian and U.S. troops were over the mountain and charging toward the enemy for hand-to-hand combat. And it ended. How much of the ending did we miss?
A: Some, although I cannot explain why. The 1968 movie about a U.S.-Canadian unit in World War II concludes with a long battle sequence on the mountain, the death of a major character, a voice-over about the unit’s valor — and closing credits. You can see it, as I did, via Amazon Prime, and at no extra cost if you are already paying for Prime.
Q: Is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers related to William Powell, the actor in the “Thin Man” movies? I have noticed similarities.
A: As best as I can find, they are not related.
Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or brenfelsgmail.com.