The actor passed away at his home in El Paso, Texas, according to El Paso Fox affiliate KFOX14. No details about the cause of death have been released.
Though he was a stage-trained actor whose television career spanned 38 years, Hemsley was most closely associated with a character he first played in its very beginning: George Jefferson, Archie bunker’s opinionated neighbor on All in the Family. The cocky dry cleaning business owner (and his family) got their own spin-off sitcom when The Jeffersons debuted in 1975. After that show’s decade-long run ended, Hemsley continued to work steadily, including a five-season run as Amen’s Deacon Ernest Frye.
Hemsley took part in VH1’s where-are-they-now? reality show The Surreal Life in 2006, and he and Jeffersons co-star Marla Gibbs recently appeared together on an episode of TBS’ Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.
UPDATE: TV Land will pay tribute to the late Sherman Hemsley with a four-hour marathon of The Jeffersons this Saturday, July 28, beginning at 12/11c.Follow @kimroots