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Why Count Bouche From The Bold And The Beautiful Looks So Familiar

"The Bold and the Beautiful" has been on CBS since 1987 and has focused mostly on the wealthy Forrester family and their work in the fashion industry. Recently, much attention has been diverted to Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) and his efforts to keep his Beverly Hills Italian restaurant, Il Giardino, in business. 

In the episodes, a man named Count Bouche visits Il Giardino to apply for the vacant sommelier position, touting his extensive knowledge of fine wines and referring to himself as "sommelier to the stars."  Count Bouche brings along his grandson Orville (Tariq Logan) and impresses Deacon with his expertise. The Count — who says he was named after jazz legend Count Basie — aces Deacon's wine identification quiz, quickly landing the job as Il Giardino's wine steward.

"Bold and the Beautiful" fans will have to wait to see how Count Bouche works out as Il Giardinio's sommelier, but his infectious charm and smile will be instantly familiar to fans of classic television. Count Bouche is played by Jimmie "JJ" Walker, who has been a fixture on the small screen since the early '70s, appearing in titles like "Good Times" and "The Love Boat."

Jimmie Walker's most famous role was on the '70s sitcom Good Times

Jimmie Walker's first credited role — and the one he is probably most remembered for — is on the 1970s CBS sitcom "Good Times" as James "JJ" Evans Jr., a good-natured, artistic teenager with two equally bright siblings and a pair of caring, dedicated parents. "Good Times" was one of many successful sitcoms created by Norman Lear during the 1970s and 1980s, and it aired 133 episodes between 1974 and 1979. Walker appeared on all 133 episodes, often flashing his beaming smile and delivering his signature catchphrase, "dy-no-mite!"

When "Good Times" debuted, there was only one other show on the air with an all-Black cast — "Sanford and Son." Walker told Carol Costello of CNN that he thought the ground that "Good Times" broke might never be covered again. 

"You'll never see a working-class family on TV again," Walker said. "Not a Black family or an ethnic family. Every Black family now has to be upper-middle class to middle class. You'll never see a poor Black family again on TV, and we were the last ones."

Jimmie Walker made his movie debut in Airplane!

The year after "Good Times" left the airwaves, Jimmie Walker made his big-screen debut in "Airplane!" Walker makes a brief appearance as a ground crew member who washes the ill-fated plane's windshield before takeoff. 

The movie stars Robert Hays as Ted Striker, a Vietnam veteran who is called upon to land an airliner full of passengers when the pilot (Peter Graves) and co-pilot (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) are stricken with food poisoning. The directors, the Zucker brothers, told The Guardian that the casting process for "Airplane!" was hit-or-miss, with some actors coming across as too dry and others as too silly. 

"We were proposing a big, broad comedy without comedians — a completely new concept," the Zuckers said. "The studio wanted Bill Murray or Chevy Chase, the reigning comic actors at the time. We loved them, but they weren't right." Their decision-making turned out to be spot-on, as "Airplane!" remains a timeless classic nearly five decades after its release, with a 97% rating from critics and an 89% percent audience score at Rotten Tomatoes.

Jimmie Walker was everywhere on TV throughout the 1980s

It was hard to turn on one's television during the 1980s and not see Jimmie Walker's smiling face. Walker appeared on some of TV's most popular series, including "The White Shadow," "Fantasy Island," "Cagney & Lacey," "The Fall Guy," and "The Love Boat." 

In his six "Love Boat" appearances between 1977 and 1985, Walker played five different characters. His only repeat appearance came in two Season 4 episodes as Marvin Jones, a bookstore owner who is one of the three passengers invited aboard the Pacific Princess by author Brian Mallory (Pernell Roberts) to help locate his missing nephew. 

Walker also appeared on all 14 episodes of the ABC military-comedy "At Ease," a John Hughes creation that starred David Naughton. Even though the show "At Ease" only lasted one season, Walker quickly landed another headlining role on a network sitcom, 1987's "Bustin' Loose."

Bustin' Loose was based on the 1981 Richard Pryor film

In 1987 and 1988, Jimmie Walker starred on the short-lived CBS sitcom "Bustin' Loose." Walker played con-man Sonny Barnes, who is sentenced to five years of community service and goes to live in a home with four orphans and a social worker (Vonetta McGee). The show was loosely based on the 1981 film of the same name that starred Richard Pryor and lasted just one season. 

McGee brought an extensive film and theater background to the cast of "Bustin' Loose," and she told The Chicago Tribune that working hard at a variety of projects was important to her. 

"'Perseverance is my middle name," McGee said. "And diversification. It was important to get on TV so I could do other things. I see myself doing mini-series and theater work.” McGee also expressed a fondness for Walker and the four young actors who co-starred as her foster children on the show,.

Jimmie Walker appeared on many popular sitcoms after Bustin' Loose was cancelled

"Bustin' Loose" lasted just one season, but Jimmie Walker went on to make guest appearances on many successful shows throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Between 1994 and 2008, he appeared on "Blossom," "The Larry Sanders Show," "The Drew Carey Show," Scrubs," and "Everybody Hates Chris." Walker made several appearances on "Everybody Hates Chris" as Chris' (Tyler James Williams) grandfather Gene; although, the character originally wasn't meant to last.

Walker told the Academy of American Television that Gene was originally slated to die of a heart attack in his first episode, but Walker brought so much energy to the role that producer Leroi Ali had writers make script changes in order to keep the veteran actor around longer.

"We made a mistake with you," Walker recalls Ali telling him. "You're too good to write out of the show. We're going to bring you back."