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Damon Evans
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    (November 24, 1949- )
    Born in Baltimore, Maryland
    Portrayed Lionel Jefferson in The Jeffersons (1975-78) and Alex Haley (at ages 17-25) in ‘Roots: The Next Generation’ (1979)
    Appeared on Broadway in ‘The Me Nobody Knows’ (1970-71) and ‘Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope’ (1972-74)
    Although both he and the original Lionel Jefferson were named Evans, they are not related.
    He said about being cast in ‘The Jeffersons,’ ‘I uprooted myself from a role as a classical music student and was thrust in the public’s eye overnight. Talk about stress and adjustment issues.’
    He would act out by showing up late for tapings or not showing up at all: ‘I had a really bad attitude.’
    He left ‘The Jeffersons’ to pursue his interest in musical theater (1978), only to find that Hollywood producers considered him only as a comedic actor.
    He abused crack cocaine and crystal meth.
    While under the influence of drugs, he planned to commit suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge (1997).
    He found success in musical theater in England, including portraying Sportin’ Life in a critically acclaimed production of ‘Porgy and Bess’ by the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (1993).
    After deciding not to commit suicide, he joined Narcotics Anonymous.
    To support himself after his show biz career, he took a job in the mail room at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
    He earned a degree in psychology from Bronx Community College (2007).

Credit: C. Fishel

    In 2020, Out of 65 Votes: 52.31% Annoying
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