Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rest in Peace Sherman Hemsley

Sherman Hemsley is dead at the age of 74. He was found in his El Paso home by his nurse and is believed to have died of natural causes. Born February 1, 1938, he served in the Air Force, then worked at the post office while working his way into show business. He never married nor had any children.

The actor claimed lasting fame as George Jefferson in the television series "The Jeffersons". The character was introduced in 1970 on the hit show "All in the Family" which starred Carrol O'Connor as Archie Bunker. Hemsley played the irascible black neighbor and eventually starred in the spin-off "The Jeffersons". That series ran from 1975-85 and is the longest running series featuring a black cast. Isabel Sandford, his TV wife "Weezy" was 20 years older than Hemsley and his on air son Lionel, played by Mike Evans, was only 11 years younger than Hemsley.

Hemsley follow "The Jeffersons" with another series "Amen" where he starred as Deacon Ernest Frye. He also starred in the Broadway production "Purlie". But, most of us will remember him "moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky" as George Jefferson. May he rest in peace.

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