From 1973 until 1994, Sherman Hemsley did not miss a season of television as a regular cast member of a program. Starting with the iconic George Jefferson character, first on All In The Family and then on spin-off The Jeffersons, through to Amen, and then as one of the principal voices on Dinosaurs, Hemlsey was a television staple. You couldn’t turn on a sitcom without seeing the lovable, brash rascal, and that was a very good thing. Sherman Hemsley was found dead in his home in El Paso, Texas, at age 74.
Hemsley played George Jefferson, or some variation of that, for a good chunk of his TV career, but man, he was good at it. A character like Jefferson in the hands of a lesser actor would’ve been grating, but Hemlsey had a charm, a wit, and a sense of honesty that made all the difference, and that was due to Hemsley’s gifts as an actor. Before finding TV success, Hemsley was a star on Broadway. Before that, he served in the United States Air Force and worked in the Post Office, where no doubt he discovered within himself George Jefferson’s sense of wounded pride and playful arrogant airs.
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