TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Actor Mike Evans, best known as Lionel Jefferson in the TV sitcoms "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons," died Dec. 14. He was 57.
Mr. Evans died of throat cancer at his mother's home in Twentynine Palms, said his niece, Chrystal Evans.
Mr. Evans, along with Eric Monte, also created and wrote for "Good Times," one of the first TV sitcoms that featured a primarily black cast.
Michael Jonas Evans was born Nov. 3, 1949, in Salisbury, N.C. His father, Theodore Evans Sr., was a dentist. His mother, Annie Sue Evans, was a school teacher.
The family moved to Los Angeles when Mr. Evans was a child. He studied acting at Los Angeles City College before getting the role of Lionel Jefferson in 1970s situation comedy "All in the Family."
Mr. Evans kept the role of Lionel when "The Jeffersons" launched in 1975. The hit show was a spinoff featuring bigoted Archie Bunker's black neighbors in Queens who "move on up to the East Side" of Manhattan.
Mr. Evans was replaced by Damon Evans (no relation) for four years, then he returned to the series from 1979 to 1981.