No relation to Michael Evans, Damon Evans took over the role of Lionel Jefferson when Michael left to perform behind the scenes at Good Times. Trained as an opera singer at Michigan's Interlochen Academy and the Boston Conservatory of Music, he appeared on Broadway in a flop ("Via Galactica"), a hit ("The Me Nobody Knows") and a revival ("Lost in the Stars"). He also sang the role of Sportin' Life in a televised version of Porgy and Bess and played Judas in a concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar. He went on to play Alex Haley in Roots: The Next Generation and made an appearance on Third Watch as well as on Sherman Hemsley's episode of Living in TV Land.
Lionel Jefferson is mild-mannered and extremely sharp-witted; most of his witty, snappy remarks are lost on Archie. Like his friend Mike Stivic, Lionel is an intelligent college student with a bright future ahead of him. He lives next door to the Bunkers with his parents, George and Louise.
Lionel's father is very proud of him, but can't understand his romantic involvement with Jenny Willis. Lionel has moved on from his father's hang-ups about race, creed and color. Still, he has fire inside, especially when he makes a stand at his college. Lionel is the apple of his mother's eye and has a bright future ahead. Upon graduating, Lionel becomes an electrical engineer for a large electronics firm. Eventually, Lionel marries Jenny and they have a daughter.