Sherman Hemsley Of 'The Jeffersons' Dies At 74
Actor Sherman Hemsley, who starred as Harlem businessman George Jefferson on the iconic 1975-1985 CBS sitcom, The Jeffersons, which was a spinoff from All in the Family, died at his El Paso, Texas home at the age of 74.
The Jeffersons, which made famous the theme song, "Movin' on Up," co-composed and performed by Ja'net Dubois of Good Times, depicted the former neighbors of All in the Family's Archie and Edith Bunker (played by Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton, respectively), as they "moved on up" to the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Hemsley, who was born in Philadlephia in 1938, always loved acting. Recalling the applause he once received after a presentation, he said, "I loved it," reports the Washington Post. "But I had to forget about acting after elementary school because it was the sort of thing you just didn't do in my rough neighborhood."
Hemsley later dropped out of high school to join the Air Force, after which he returned to be a postal worker in Philadelphia while taking acting classes at night. It wasn't long after that Hemsley was getting a call from producer Norman Lear, who wanted to cast Hemsley in a bit role in All in the Family. And the rest is history.
Hemsley also later appeared in Amen on NBC and in a guest spot on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which helped launch the career of Will Smith. Hemsley's death was confirmed by his agent, Todd Frank. No other details have yet been released.
TV Land will pay tribute to Hemsley on Saturday with several back-to-back episodes of The Jeffersons, reports the paper.
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