Esther Rolle as Florida Evans
|no-nonsense black woman who often has the last laugh at Maude's expense, and is often a voice of reason|
|Related to:||children, not mentioned|
|Appeared on:||Maude (TV series)|
|Episodes appeared in:||33 in Seasons 1 & 2|
|Character played by:||Esther Rolle|
Florida Evans was the Findlay's housekeeper who appeared in Seasons 1 and Seasons 2 of Maude. The part of Florida is played by Esther Rolle, who, because of the popularity of the character, Rolle was given her own series, Good Times.
For the entire run of the show, Maude also has a housekeeper. At the beginning of the series, the Findlays hire Florida Evans, a no-nonsense black woman who often has the last laugh at Maude's expense. Maude often makes a point of conspicuously and awkwardly demonstrating how open-minded and liberal she is (Florida almost quits working for Maude because of this). Despite Florida's status as a maid, Maude emphasizes to Florida that they are "equals," and insists she enter and exit the Findlay house via the front door (even though the back door is more convenient).
Character changes in Good Times series
As played by Esther Rolle, the character of Florida would become so popular that, in early 1974, she, and John Amos, who had appeared in three episodes as Florida's firefighter husband, Henry Evans, became the co-stars of their own series, Good Times.
In the storyline of Maude, Florida's husband Henry receives a promotion at his job, and she quits to be a full-time housewife there in Tuckahoe, NY. While Maude took place in New York, the setting for Good Times was moved Chicago, with numerous other differences in Florida's situation, such as her husband being called James Evans - 'Henry' becoming the name of James's long lost father on Good Times (he would be played in three episodes of the series by Richard Ward).
The history of the Evans family having lived in Tuckahoe on Maude was completely ignored, as it was rewritten for the Good Times series as having the Evans family having lived in various housing projects in the near west Chicago area for 20 years, and James having been a sixth grade dropout, whose area of expertise was as a mechanic, as well as some loading dock experience, instead of having been a firefighter as Henry, who also presumably graduated high school, was on Maude, and having had worked a series of jobs, when he wasn't forced to go on welfare at times when unemployed and between jobs.