Amen cast

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Message Board:

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Photo Gallery:

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Broadcast History:

First Telecast: September 27, 1986
Last Telecast: July 27, 1991

Sep 1986-Apr 1987, NBC Sat 9:30-10:00
Jun 1987-Sep 1988, NBC Sat 9:30-10:00
Oct 1988-Jul 1989, NBC Sat 8:30-9:00
Aug 1989, NBC Sat 8:00-8:30
Sep 1989-Jul 1990, NBC Sat 8:30-9:00
Aug 1990, NBC Sat 8:00-8:30
Dec 1990-Jul 1991, NBC Sat 8:00-8:30

Total number of episodes: 111


Sherman Hemsley as Deacon Ernest Frye
Clifton Davis
as Rev. Reuben Gregory
Anna Maria Horsford
as Thelma Frye
Barbara Montgomery
as Cosietta Hetebrink (1986-1990)
Roz Ryan
as Amelia Hetebrink
Jester Hairston
as Rolly Forbes
Franklyn Seales
as Lorenzo Hollingsworth (1986-1987, occasional)
Rosetta LeNoire
as Leola Forbes (1987-1989, occasional)
Elsa Raven
as Inga (1988-1990)
Tony T. Johnson
as Chris (1988-1990)
Bumper Robinson
as Clarence (1990-1991)

Theme Song/Video Clips:

Download the Amen opening theme song in wav format
Download the Amen ending theme song in wav format

Download the Amen opening theme song in mp3 format
Download a MPG video file of the Amen opening credits

Series Summary:

Clifton Davis and Sherman Hemsley

Amen was a breakthrough of sorts--the first hit comedy in TV history to be based on religion. Sherman Hemsley, who played pushy, egotistical George Jefferson on The Jeffersons for ten years, played a similar character here as the insufferable deacon (and lawyer) whose father had founded the First Community Church of Philadelphia, and who intended to keep it under his thumb. Unfortunately the new minister, Rev. Gregory, had other ideas and every week he quietly deflated the strutting deacon. Both, of course, really had the church's best interests at heart. Thelma was the deacon's 30-year-old, unmarried, romantically frustrated daughter, who eventually began dating the handsome new pastor: Casietta and Amelia, chattering sisters who were members of the Church board; and Rolly, the board's wise old voice of reason.

Developments in later seasons included the marriage of Rolly to Thelma's great aunt Leola in November 1987; Deacon Frye's "fantasy wedding" to colorful guest star Jackee later that season; and the long-awaited moment when Thelma finally tied the knot with the man of her dreams, Rev. Gregory, in February 1990. In the final season Deacon Frye was appointed a judge, so he could wreak havoc in the courts, too.

Younger faces on the show included a charismatic 12-year-old preacher, Rev. Johnny Tolbert (played in several 1987 guest appearances by real-life child minister Rev. William Hudson III); six-year-old parishioner Chris, who was not shy about his opinions; and in the last season, a hip street kid and aspiring rapper named Clarence who was taken in by the Deacon and who looked up to him admiringly. The final original episode was memorable. Deacon Frye staged a telethon to raise money to save the church, culminating in his wild imitation of James Brown--which was topped when Brown himself walked on and launched into his patented "I Feel Good!" His screams were echoed by screams offstage as an overdue Thelma went into labor and gave birth to the Deacon's first grandchild.

Actor Clifton Davis, best known as the star of the 1984 series That's My Mama, was also a real-life minister. While appearing in the top-rated Amen he served as assistant pastor at the Loma Linda, Calif., Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Series summary from The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present

The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present

The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh

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Where does Amen air?:

Stations airing Amen:

Check your local listings for updated days, times, and channels

TV One (USA)
VISION (Canada)
WSKY Kitty Hawk, NC Weekdays 3:30 and 4:30pm ET

Updated: 09/06/06

If Amen airs in your area, please contact me with the information.

January 21, 2000

Pioneering black actor Jester Hairston dies

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pioneering black actor Jester Hairston, both praised for his trailblazing work and excoriated for playing roles demeaning to African Americans, died Tuesday in Los Angeles, friends said. He was 98.

He appeared in both the radio and television versions of ''Amos 'n' Andy,'' the 1980s sitcom ``Amen'' and in the films ''To Kill a Mockingbird,'' ``In the Heat of the Night,'' ``Lady Sings the Blues'' and ``Being John Malkovich.''

He also wrote the song ``Amen'' for ``Lilies of the Field'' and was dubbed in as the singing voice for star Sidney Poitier.

But Hairston was stung by criticisms that he accepted stereotypical roles early in his career. ``We had a hard time then fighting for dignity. We had no power. We had to take it, and because we took it the young people today have opportunities,'' Hairston once said.

He also composed or arranged more than 300 choral spirituals.

The grandson of a slave, Hairston was born in North Carolina in 1901. His family relocated to Pittsburgh, where he won a church scholarship and decided to study landscape design at Massachusetts Agricultural College.

He dropped out when the scholarship ran out, but was lured to Tufts University by a woman who was impressed with his singing and offered to pay for his education in music.

Hairston came to Hollywood with a prominent black choir in 1935 and got a break when composer Dmitri Tiomkin asked him to conduct the choir music used in the film ``Lost Horizon.''

Their 20-year partnership would include work on ``Red River,'' ``She Wore a Yellow Ribbon'' and ``Land of the Pharaohs.'' Hairston earned extra money by accepting small parts in films such as the Tarzan series. He became known in those films for running naked through the jungle yelling ''Bwana, Bwana!''

He later landed the role of Henry Van Porter, who ridiculed the title characters in ``Amos 'n' Andy.'' The television show was forced off the air in 1953 after civil rights groups complained that it presented demeaning depictions of blacks but the radio program continued on for several years.

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