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Bernadette Stanis     staring role

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Bernadette Stanis is the woman who played Thelma. She has been busy raising a family. Married with two children - she and her husband work producing off-Broadway plays. In 1997 Ms. Stanis made a guest appearance in a Wayans Brothers episode. Bern was also recently featured in a hip-hop music video by Camp Lo with Jimmie Walker. Watch for it on the BET Network.
This was the beginning of Bernadette's successful career in the entertainment world. She has appeared in several TV. sitcoms, i.e., "The Cosby Show", "Busting Loose," "Love Boat," "What's Happening Now." Her winning personality and charm has caused many national magazines such as Ebony, Jet, Right On, and most recently Black Hair, and Black Elegant, to feature her. She has appeared in national commercials, records albums, and videos.

By MICHAEL STARR - New York Post writer
(a 1997 article)

The good times are back for Bernadette Stanis, who played sassy Thelma Evans on the classic '70s sitcom "Good Times." 

Not only is Stanis thrilled with "Good Times'" legendary status, but she's bringing Thelma back tonight on "The Wayans Bros." (9-9:30 p.m. on WPIX/Ch.11). 

The episode features a "Good Times" flashback scene that also includes original cast members Johnny Brown (handyman Nathan Bookman) and Ja'net DuBois (neighbor Willona Woods) - who also has a recurring on "The Wayans Bros." as Grandma.

"I'm wearing my big old Afro wig, bell bottoms, platform shoes and my tight little shirt," Stanis told The Post. "And while we were taping the episode, Marlon Wayans, who played Michael, kept moving his neck back and forth like Michael used to do. I almost forgot that, you know? But Michael used to jerk his head from side to side and I went, "Oh, he did do that!'"

Shawn Wayans plays J.J. Evans and Marlon is little brother Michael - roles originally played by Jimmie "Dy-no-mite!" Walker and Ralph Carter in the CBS series (1974-79) that also starred Esther Rolle and John Amos.

"Shawn and Marlon knew every one of the "Good Times" episodes," Stanis said. "They said, 'Bernadette, we've watched every one of those shows.' They even knew some of them that I'd forgotten!" 

The groundbreaking "Good Times" was TV's first sitcom focusing on a black family in a lower-income, urban (Chicago) setting. It was spun off from "Maude" (in which Rolle played Maude's housekeeper, Florida Evans), which in itself was a spinoff from "All in the Family."

Said Stanis: "The show has lasted so long and they still play it on TV. It's made its mark and it's here forever. I feel so good about that."

In tonight's "Wayans Bros." episode, a computer firm hires Shawn only because he's black.

Upset over his predicament, Shawn dozes off while watching a "Good Times" marathon - and dreams he's living in the '70s sitcom as J.J., who's in a similar situation and seeks advice from Willona, Thelma, Michael and Bookman. "When he wakes up from his dream he says, "That's it, that's what I'm going to do,' as if the dream gave him the solution to his dilemma," Stanis said. "Sometimes I feel that, with "Good Times,' we gave people answers to some of those big problems." 

Stanis recently reunited with Walker on a music video for hip-hoppers Camp Lo, where the actors reprised their "Good Times" roles. 

"When I saw Jimmie again I was so excited and he was like, "Hey Bern, get over here!'" she said. "And I was like, "give me a hug' because I always boss him around." 

Stanis, a Juilliard graduate, now has two daughters (ages 16 and 3) and is married to Kevin Fontana, with whom she's producing a play, "Whatever Happened to Black Love?"

Stanis co-stars in "Black Love" with Ernest Thomas, who played Raj in another '70s TV classic, "What's Happening!!"

Said Stanis: "I play a female attorney defending all the men, and Ernest plays the male attorney defending all the females. The audience just loves it because they get two stars from the '70s."

The New York Post may be read online at 


Copyright (c) 1997, N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in 
any form or medium without express written permission of the New York Post is prohibited. 

 John Amos, Ralph Carter, Bernadette Stanis, Johnny Brown, and Ja'net DuBois at Esther Rolle's funeral wake in November 1998.


Brent Carter and the Theatre

"Good Times" Bern Nadette Stanis
Collects Black Memorabilia and African Objects

Just another image of Ms Stanis



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Date page was last updated 08/23/2008     Back to home