John Donley, Writer of Sitcoms Like Diff’rent Strokes, is Inducted Into Arkansas Black Hall of Fame

Award-winning television writer and producer John Donley (Courtesy Arkansas Black Hall of Fame)

You might not know his name, but you’ve probably seen this Arkansan’s work on popular sitcoms like Diff’rent Strokes and The Jeffersons. Television writer and producer John Donley has now been inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.

Donley is the man behind the lines that made you laugh in many classic sitcoms.

“I’m a cotton picker from Arkansas,” Donley said. “Gould, Arkansas. I spent my childhood working on the farm beside my mother and father.

Donley said while he was on the farm in Gould, his mind was other places. His dreaming led him to Los Angeles where he tried to become an actor.

“I was always dreaming and during that time,” he said. “I would try other things, like try to become a standup comic and try to be a singer–everything.”

But Donley said at the time opportunities for black actors were slim. So he found his success selling a script for Good Times.

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Source: KATV