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Good Times

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Johnny Brown, known as Bookman from the beloved comedy series Good Times, has died. His daughter, Sharon Catherine Brown, shared the sad news via Instagram.

Our family is devastated. Devastated. Devastated. Beyond heartbroken. Barely able to breathe. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time because we need a minute to process the unthinkable. To articulate the depths of profound sadness. This is my mom’s husband for sixty one years, mine and JJ’s dad, Elijah and Levi’s Pop Pop, older brother to George and brother in law to Pat and extended family to Chris, Hihat, Damian and Derell. 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.

Brown died on March 2. He was 84-years-old. He leaves behind his wife June Russell, whom he married in 1961. They shared two children, Sharon and John, Jr. Brown also had two grandchildren, Elijah and Levi. His cause of death has not been revealed.

His co-star, BernNadette Stanis, also posted a loving tribute to the late actor via social media.

I am devastated to hear about my dear friend Johnny Brown who played Bookmen on our show Good Times. I will miss all the stories about Sammy Davis Jr. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and even John Wayne. 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

Brown was born on June 11, 1937 in St. Petersburg, Florida but was raised in the Harlem section of New York City.

During his career, he worked as a singer, comedian and actor. He tapped dance with Gregory Hines and also worked as a drummer with Gregory Hines, Sr. He went from winning Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater to recording songs for Atlantic and Columbia Records. In 1961, he released his single “Walkin’ Talkin’ Kissin’ Doll / Sundown” and followed up with “You’re Too Much In Love With Yourself” in 1968. He was also a popular act in the nightclubs in New York City. Brown also starred in a Broadway musical alongside his mentor Sammy Davis, Jr., Golden Boy, in 1964. Brown also starred in Broadway’s Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights, which was directed by Sidney Poitier. He also starred on The Leslie Uggams Show and the comedy Laugh-In during the 1970s. Brown was sought to play the role of Lamont on Sanford And Son but was already committed to Laugh In. He joined the cast of Good Times during the second season in 1975 and remained on the show until it was cancelled in 1979.

Brown also appeared on shows like Julia, The Jeffersons, The Wiz, Sister Sister, The Wayans Bros., Family Matters, Martin, Maude, Archie Bunker’s Place, Life, Hanky Panky, Town & Country and more.


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