Whatever Happened to Bern Nadette Stanis? (Thelma from Good Times)
Thelma! Thelma! Thelma! That was one of the most memorable lines from an episode of the popular black sitcom, Good Times.
On the show, Thelma Evans was the epitome of a good girl. She had good grades, she had a good heart, she had good values, she was good to her mamma, she could sing and dance, and she was good looking to boot.
Every black girl in the 1970s wanted to be like Thelma Evans, and every boy in the 1970s wanted to be with a girl like Thelma Evans.
Bern Nadette Stanis is the name of the black actress who portrayed Thelma Evans on Good Times for six seasons on the CBS Television Network.
Although many people remember Thelma Evans, not too many people outside of black audiences remember Bern Nadette Stanis.
Naturally Talented & Classically Trained
Bern Nadette Stanis grew up in the borough of Brooklyn, New York in a working class neighborhood.
As anyone could tell from her role as Thelma Evans, Stanis is also talented dancer as well as an actress. Who can ever forget that dance she did in the wine-colored bodysuit to the tune of Native New Yorker?
She was trained and graduated from the prestigious Julliard School, and she was one of many alumni who went on to make her alma mater proud, as well as prove its strength.
The pinnacle of Bern Nadtte Stanis’ career was no doubt her stint on Good Times.
Throughout her time as Thelma Evans, Stanis showed the world that a kid from the ghetto had hopes, and dreams just like anybody else.
Bern Nadette also took her role as a role model a step further by also demonstrating that a girl from the ghetto could have class and values, the sort of things that money simply cannot buy.
Her character dealt with such issues as teenage sex, teen pregnancy, underage drinking, and everyday teenage issues, and she handled each situation with grace and class.
After the show ended in 1979, She mostly retired from the limelight, but she made appearances on shows like The Cosby Show, The Love Boat, The Parent ‘Hood, and the What’s Happening revival series, What’s Happening Now.
Bern Nadette Stanis Today
Most people do not know that Bern Nadette Stans was actually 20 years old when Good Times premiered, and she was almost 26 when it ended; she still maintains her youthful appearance even today as she approaches 60 years of age.
She has authored a book called Bern Nadette Stanis Situations 101, it was published in 2006 and it is much like a collection of “Dear Abby” letters, but answered instead by our Dear Bern Nadette.
She made a recent television appearance in 2010 on an episode of the TV One series that showcases black actors from the 1970s, Way Black When.
Most recently, she sat down on the couch with the women of The View (September 2011)and she discussed her career and upcoming projects.
Bern Nadette Stanis has already left her mark on Television History and Black History, and hopefully, there is a lot more to come from this beautiful and talented black actress.
Watch Bern Nadette Stanis on "The View"
© 2012 Rachelle Williams