Whatever Happened to Bern Nadette Stanis? (Thelma from Good Times)

Updated on July 20, 2017
Bern Nadette Stanis as Thelma Evans
Bern Nadette Stanis as Thelma Evans

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.

Acting Career

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.

From left to right Johnny Brown (Nathan Bookman), Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma Evans), Ralph Carter (Michael Evans), JaNet DuBois (Wilona Woods), John Amos (James Evans), and Jimmie Walker (James "JJ" Evans, Jr.)  accepting a TV Land Award
From left to right Johnny Brown (Nathan Bookman), Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma Evans), Ralph Carter (Michael Evans), JaNet DuBois (Wilona Woods), John Amos (James Evans), and Jimmie Walker (James "JJ" Evans, Jr.) accepting a TV Land Award

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


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    • profile image

      alisa 3 weeks ago

      asa white woman watching shows like goos times brings such joy tomebecause imraisisng biracial girls andboys. my desire isfor them tosee that goodness is within us all rgardlessofcolor many youngblackwomen feel they have to behhharsh and rebels and I'm so joyous tosee positive role models

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      Melvin Johnson 3 months ago

      I watched you axt on good times and enjoyed every episode, I loved every character in the show, Esther Rolle was a great role model for a mother so was John Amos as a father and your brothers J.J. and Ralph, but you was inspiring to me, I would love to meet you one day before I depart from this earth, you are without a shadow of a doubt a icon

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      Maggie 4 months ago

      Nice to see Bern Nadette...I have acquired a set of good times videos and I really like Thelma Evans. Wow...she was such a beautiful girl and still is. I shall continue enjoying good times.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Another good piece! I like your work.

    • profile image

      Big AL 7 months ago

      Bernadette Stanis, is so Beautiful, Sexy, And Fine as Wine!!! from the past to the never-ending days to come!!!

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      Robert Arrington 13 months ago

      I really like to meet Thelma one day and do she have a Facebook page add me she really looks real good

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      melvin Johnson 14 months ago

      Bern Nadette Stanis is a warm , caring and loving young lady whom I grew up with by watching the Good Times episodes, no disrespect to the other actors but Miss. Stanis makes my heart tic. I wish we could go back to the 1970,s but just looking at Bern and it seems like we still in the 70,s, you are without a shadow of a doubt , a queen

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      Ms Emily 16 months ago

      I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Bern Nadette Stanis for the first time at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion concert in Kissimmee, Fl. She's a strong advocate for Alzheimer (proceeds to help her mother) and we were able to speak to her and take pictures of her, without standing in a crowded line. She's down to earth and looks darn good for a lady born in 1954!!! I truly appreciate her honesty and humble attitude. She was promoting her book during the event. Praying for blessings her way!!!

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      jetome Williams 19 months ago

      She was admired by many. She was a very good role model for many. That's what is needed today in 2016. Good role models for young blacks.

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      kristi 2 years ago

      Yes its just a normal part of age to gain some weight. Shes still as beautiful if not more so.

    • profile image

      mich/cashville 2 years ago

      She is so fine

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      Robert 2 years ago

      I loved this show growing up !!! I loved Thelma, so sexy.. I love you women ,and all black women !! I'm white and I know I'm right in my feelings !!!

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      David Fullerton 3 years ago

      I just want to give her a ride on my bike. www.carfreememphis.com

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 3 years ago from Arizona

      Very good article on Bern Nadette, thanks for covering this article! I think that Kerry Washington is doing a great job as well. It is nice to get an update on Ms. Nadette, a very beautiful and inspiring woman! Voted up! & Tweeted Out!

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      crenonabolton@gmail.com 3 years ago

      We wanted to k we're still around Kim and Rufus forever

    • profile image

      big will 3 years ago

      I want her!

    • Rachelle Williams profile image

      Rachelle Williams 4 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      She's been popping up lately here and there. She's still around, and she's still just as beautiful as ever.

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      Ron Evans 4 years ago

      I too have always wondered what happened to Thelma.I have always had and still have a major CRUSH on BernNadette.She still,at any age, one of the most lovely women in the world.I would definitely like to see More of her on TV,MOVIES, anything,

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      Elena Clark 4 years ago

      I would love to.see good times pick up where they left off at. Themla married and pregnant

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      Sheila Ferguson 4 years ago

      I grew up watching all of the 70s Shows and Not just One are My Favorite, THEY ALL ARE!!!!!

    • profile image

      Vanessa B. 4 years ago

      I love good times and i still do it just makes me feel like there is always hope no matter how bad things were and they were pretty bad but i made it thou thanks to the whole cast Vanessa B.

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      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      I had to read this Hub because like Maurice in the video, I had a crush on Thelma when I was a kid, too. I didn't know she had trained at Julliard, but I can tell she had training in theater. That is very interesting. And, it's true, she still looks young. Thanks for sharing, I was watching an episode of Good Times the other day, and was wondering what happened to her; now I know.

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      tonto 5 years ago

      yeh she is fine, but she gained weight, seems like every body gets older gains weight,.

    • profile image

      Warren 5 years ago

      Thelma, Thelma, Thelma...

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      shontell pollard 5 years ago

      hi I am a big fan on the goodtimes show my most adorable character I admire is esther rolle the mother of the children i was researching on her I saw her funeral is was very bad way i felt because everyday i came from school i watch the show i tries to be like thelma her hairstyle and her cloths i dress so and i comb my hair like that but j.j is the most funny one the father he is serious omg when saw him i jump but goodtimes is teach u about how people struggle ture long ago well i is shontell

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      Jesse montgomery 5 years ago

      Thelma is a very beautiful woman i really want to meet her in person sum day.

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      trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana

      My 13 year old son loves JJ. He was watching Thelma and Keith's wedding about a week ago. Now that he's seen all of the episodes, he wants to move on to "What's Happening".

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for this hub. This show was one of my favorites in the 70's. I watched the youtube video and I tell you it was great to see the characters again after all these years. It's funny because Jimmy Walker still has the same persona as he did back then. I think the character was such a good role model and kids do watch and emulate. It makes me wish they still had characters like this today.