The Jeffersons Star Sherman Hemsley Dead at 74

Sherman Hemsley, the man best known for movin’ George Jefferson and family on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky, died Tuesday.

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.

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  1. Patty says:

    Another TV icon lost :(
    RIP Mr. Hemsley.

  2. maynepei says:

    Another acting legend has left us. RIP Mr. Jefferson

  3. Carm says:

    RIP Sherman Hemsley

  4. Sheryl Fuller says:

    I truly pray that Sherman new the Lord…
    And he truly did move on up to his
    delux apartment in the sky.

    You made me laugh for many years…
    Sherman, and thank you.
    I love you much.

  5. Auduson says:

    Oh dear! I remember this guy. The Jeffersons show was a must-see for us youngsters just out of school and trying to raise a family. Oh, what rib-cracking we had going on then. Usually the local tv station (in Nigeria) would show one episode a week, and the family gathered in front of the box to let of steam and stress. RIP Mr Hemsley.

  6. Lorie says:

    Thank you for the wonderful memories, Mr. Hemsley. RIP.

  7. Sheryl Fuller says:

    I truly pray that Sherman knew the Lord…
    And he truly Podid move in to his delux appartment in the sky.
    You made me laugh for many years Sherman…
    Thak you for that, I love you.

  8. chris says:

    great actor, great show, hard to believe only one emmy nomination and no emmy. He will be missed.

  9. AnitaCM says:

    Very sad. Loved him as George Jefferson. He provided lots of laughs. RIP Mr. Hemsley.

  10. A Thompson says:

    I watched this show as a kid. It is truly the end of an era.

  11. Cathy says:

    So sad that another of the great actors has passed away!
    I know he has joined Weezy, Archie, Andy, Goober and the Great Ernest Borgnine in heaven! RIP Sherman Hensley!!

  12. Bob Çolleton says:

    I loved that show and watched it every week. I think all the regular cast has past away now except for (Marla GIbbs), he was a great actor and I always enjoyed his performance. R.I.P. Mr. Hemsley and thank you for all the great years.
    Bob C.

  13. Dawn says:

    This has been another terrible year for losing talented entertainment legends. I loved Sherman Helmsley as George Jefferson and Deacon Frye. He’s a part of my childhood and adolescence, which was made easier with the laughter he created.

    Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Helmsley. You were truly gifted. Rest in peace.

  14. Shelby Blake says:

    Sherman will certainly be missed. Thankfully we have reruns if the Jeffersons and Amen to reminisce with and pass the classic comedies down to future generations. I think it is often overlooked how important the Jeffersons and others of the 70s were trailblazers in establishing widespread acceptance of African American family culture. Sherman and his co-stars played a large part in this. I was lucky enough to meet him and the cast when my brother was singing with a boys group that included a young Lenny Kravitz, and his mother, Roxie Roker, invited my mom, brother and me to see a Jeffersons taping one day. I miss Roxie, Isabel, Frank and now Sherman. RIP and thanks for the memories.

  15. Keren says:

    May he Rest In Peace

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  17. BLANCA says:

    RIP MR. JEFFERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Jacklyn Johnson says:

    Tears are flowing. I can share with everyone how much he meant to us. I will miss his humor and spunk. Thanks for the heads up on the Evertalk page Christina. I will visit it.