BernNadette Stanis: 'Good Times' Thelma, Then And Now

By Cyn Felthousen-Post

BernNadette Stanis played an important role as Thelma Evans on the '70s sitcom Good Times. Though the goofy JJ, played by Jimmie Walker, is often remembered for his antics and his catchphrase "Dyn-o-mite!," every goofball needs a straight man. Thelma was smart, reasonable, and more serious than her scene-stealing older brother, and unafraid to take the wind out of his sails during their spats, which were common on the show.

Jimmie Walker was twice nominated for an Emmy, Esther Rolle (who played Florida Evans) was nominated once, and John Amos (James Evans Sr.) was a Broadway actor who earned his Emmy nomination for Roots. Stanis' performances may have been overshadowed by her co-stars, but she hardly went unnoticed -- she was a very popular character and the object of many a teenage crush. If Thelma's sex-symbol status is news to you, it might be because you weren't buying Jet and Ebony in the mid-'70s.