Image of Sherman Hemsley

Sherman Hemsley

Sherman Alexander Hemsley (February 1, 1938 – July 24, 2012) was an American actor, best known for his roles as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons, Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series Amen, and B.P. Richfield on the ABC series Dinosaurs. For his work on The Jeffersons, Hemsley was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award. He also won an NAACP Image Award. Hemsley was born and raised in South Philadelphia by his mother, who worked in a lamp factory.[1] He did not meet his father until he was 14. He attended Barrat Middle School, Central High School for 9th grade and Bok Technical High School for 10th, when he dropped out of school and joined the United States Air Force, where he served for four years. On leaving the Air Force, he returned to Philadelphia, where he worked for the United States Postal Service during the day while attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts at night. He then moved to New York, continuing to work for the Post Office during the day while working as an actor at night. He starred as Gitlow in the early 1970s Broadway musical Purlie. While Hemsley was on Broadway with Purlie, Norman Lear called him in 1971 to play the recurring role of George Jefferson in his new sitcom, All in the Family. Hemsley was reluctant to leave his theatre role, but Lear told him that he would hold the role open for him. Hemsley joined the cast two years later. The characters of Hemsley and co-star Isabel Sanford were supporting occasional roles on All in the Family, but were given their own spin-off, The Jeffersons, two years after Hemsley made his debut on the sitcom. The Jeffersons proved to be one of Lear's most successful series, enjoying a run of 11 seasons through 1985. Hemsley was a shy and intensely private man, described by some as reclusive. He avoided the Hollywood limelight and little of his personal life was public knowledge beyond the facts that he never married and he had no children.[9] In 2003, however, Hemsley granted a rare video interview to the Archive of American Television. "It [playing George Jefferson] was hard for me. But he was the character. I had to do it." On July 24, 2012, Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, at age 74. The cause of death was given as superior vena cava syndrome, a complication associated with lung and bronchial carcinomas. He had had a malignant mass on one of his lungs for which chemotherapy and radiation had been recommended, according to the El Paso County Texas Medical Examiner's report. CLR


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Born:
Feb 1, 1938 In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
46
First Appeared:
In the series All in the Family 1971-01-12
Latest Project:
Series The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts 2022
Known For
Poster of Family Guy
Poster of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Poster of Pink Lady
Poster of The Love Boat
Filmography
Series The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts Unknown 2022
Movie Clunkers Boss 2015-06-09
Movie For the Love of a Dog George O'Donnell 2008-03-01
Series Back to the Grind Unknown 2007-07-18
Series Living in TV Land Unknown 2004-08-18
Series The Surreal Life Unknown 2003-01-09
Movie Up, Up, and Away Edward Marshall / Steel Condor 2000-01-22
Movie Screwed Chip Oswald 2000-05-12
Series Family Guy Unknown 1999-01-31
Series V.I.P. Sherman Hemsley 1998-09-26
Series The Hughleys Unknown 1998-09-22
Movie Sprung Brotha #1 1997-05-14
Movie Casper: A Spirited Beginning Grocer 1997-09-09
Series City Guys Unknown 1997-09-06
Series Goode Behavior Unknown 1996-08-26
Series Clueless Unknown 1996-09-20
Movie The Misery Brothers Rev. Scheister 1995-01-01
Series The Wayans Bros. Unknown 1995-01-11
Movie Mr. Nanny Burt Wilson 1993-04-02
Series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Unknown 1993-09-12
Series Martin Unknown 1992-08-27
Series The Ben Stiller Show Unknown 1992-09-27
Movie Club Fed The Reverend 1990-08-09
Movie Camp Cucamonga Herbert Himmel 1990-09-23
Series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Judge Carl Robertson 1990-09-10
Series Family Matters Unknown 1989-09-22
Movie Ghost Fever Buford / Jethro 1987-03-27
Movie Golden Anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Magic Mirror 1987-05-22
Movie Stewardess School Mr. Buttersworth 1986-08-01
Series Amen Deacon Ernest Frye 1986-09-27
Movie Combat Academy Judge Daley 1986-11-23
Series Designing Women Unknown 1986-09-29
Series The Twilight Zone Unknown 1985-09-27
Series Alice in Wonderland Mouse 1985-12-09
Movie Purlie 1981-10-12
Series Pink Lady Unknown 1980-03-01
Series The Big Show Unknown 1980-03-04
Movie Love at First Bite Reverend Mike 1979-04-26
Series The Incredible Hulk Unknown 1977-11-04
Series The Love Boat Maurice Marshall 1977-09-24
Series Donny & Marie Unknown 1976-01-23
Series Battle of the Network Stars Unknown 1976-11-13
Series The Sonny & Cher Show Unknown 1976-02-01
Series The Jeffersons George Jefferson 1975-01-18
Series Tony Orlando and Dawn Unknown 1974-12-04
Series All in the Family George Jefferson 1971-01-12