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Home / Harlem

Actor Johnny Brown, Bookman on ‘Good Times,’ dies at 84

Johnny Brown, the actor best known for being the butt of jokes as building superintendent Nathan Bookman on the CBS sitcom “Good Times” in the 1970s, has died at the age of 84.

Brown’s daughter Sharon announced his death Friday on Instagram.

“Our family is devastated. Devastated. Devastated. Beyond heartbroken. Barely able to breathe,” she wrote. “… 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.”

According to the post, Brown died Wednesday. Sharon Catherine Brown told TMZ that Brown was at his doctor’s office in Los Angeles that day getting his pacemaker checked out, and went into cardiac arrest shortly after leaving. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Brown grew up in Harlem, cutting his teeth as a nightclub performer and later a Broadway actor. He also sang, performing with bands recording songs before his television career.

Brown first gained national attention on NBC’s “Laugh-In” in the early 1970s, before joining “Good Times” in the middle of its second season in 1975.

His superintendent character Bookman was relentlessly ridiculed by the entire Evans family, as well as their neighbor Willona. Brown earned the respect of audiences for enduring such frequently repeated barbs as “Buffalo Butt” and “Booger.”

Brown’s other TV work included appearances on “The Flip Wilson Show,” “The Jeffersons,” “Family Matters,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “The Wayans Bros.” and “Martin.”

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