The 71-year-old threw some serious shade at his former cast mates, John Amos, who played his father James Evans, Esther Rolle, who played his mother, Michael and Thelma played by Ralph Carter and Bern Nadette Stanis and Ja’Net DuBois, who played Willona.
According to Walker, in real-life, the cast wasn’t close at all and he didn’t speak to his TV mother and father when they left the set.
“I will honestly say, I don’t remember ever speaking a word to Ester the whole time she was there,” remembered Walker.
“I think the same basically goes for John. We talk more now but very, very little. We were never friends, never talked. If you said at that time ‘Call Esther and ask her about [something],’ I wouldn’t even have her number,” he added.” I couldn’t have called John. I wouldn’t have had his number … We never spoke to each other. Only on the set … We never did anything together.”
Walker also suggested that his former castmates weren’t appreciative of being on a hit television series.
“I think that they killed the goose that laid the golden egg,” he stated. “These people, anytime you said anything, they get crazy, they get upset. I said ‘They don’t get it, man.’”
Walker revealed that Amos caused a lot of friction on the show because he thought it was beneath him. The actor was fired from “Good Times” after the third season and the series went on without him.
“John is a good actor, a solid actor,” said Walker. “And I think it was just this show, this situation, that was against anything and everything he believed in. He never been a problem on any other show.”
As far as his TV brother Michael, played by Ralph Carter, Walker said he became disinterested in the show once he realized his role wouldn’t be bigger, as Carter initially expected.
Walker also believes Stanis, who played Thelma, failed to capitalize on her “sex symbol” image.
In fact, when Walker suggested to series creator Norman Lear and Amos that she do a pinup poster like actress Farrah Fawcett — which sold millions of copies in the ‘70s — he got blasted for it.
Norman Lear and John Amos came to me and said ‘How dare you put our girl in a position like that?” he recalled. “She’s not a h-e. You keep your illicit mind off of that and never bring that up again … They came down so hard on me.”
He then addressed DuBois and her Willona character and said that she complained to the writers a lot, mainly about her character not doing enough. So much so, they eventually expanded her role and that’s how the Penny character (Janet Jackson) was created.
“Without Ja’Net, I don’t think Janet Jackson would’ve ever gotten on our show,” said Walker. “Because she laid out her side of whatever so much, that the writer said ‘We’ve got to do something to get her off our backs.’”
None of Walker’s former cast mates have responded to his interview….yet.
Watch more of the interview below:
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