In Memoriam – Sherman Hemsley, 1938 – 2012

Actor Sherman Hemsley, best known for his role as the loud and brash George Jefferson on “The Jeffersons,” died Tuesday at his home in El Paso, Texas.  Hemsley portrayed Jefferson first on “All in the Family” from 1973 – 1975 and then on the series spin-off that ran for 11 seasons.  He was born in Philadelphia and didn’t consider acting until after he left the Air Force.  While living and working in New York in 1971, he received a call from TV producer Norman Lear who wanted Hemsley to audition for the Jefferson character.  Hemsley initially declined, as he was touring for a theatrical company, but landed the role two years later.  He engaged in a handful of other projects after “The Jeffersons” ended in 1985, including another NBC situation comedy, “Amen,” which ran from 1986 – 1991.  Police in El Paso said there was no evidence of foul play.  The cause of death will be determined through an autopsy, according to a news release.

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