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Isabel Sanford
Birth: Aug. 29, 1917
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Jul. 9, 2004

Actress. She is best remembered for her role as Louise "Weezy" Jefferson on the CBS television sitcoms "All in the Family," that ran from 1971 until 1975, and "The Jeffersons," from 1975 until 1985. Born Eloise Gwendolyn Sanford, she was the youngest of seven children, but was the only one to survive beyond infancy. As a young teenager, she aspired to be an actress but her mother discouraged her dream as she felt that show business was "the road to degradation". She disregarded her mother's advice and began performing at local clubs and at amateur night at the Apollo Theater behind her mother's back. After graduating from high school, she joined Harlem's American Negro Theater and the Star Players and made her professional stage debut in 1946 in "On Strivers Row" and appeared in several off-Broadway productions while also working as a keypunch operator at International Business Machines (IBM). She married a house painter and had three children but later separated from him and relocated to California with her children in 1960 but remained married to him until his death in 1961. She joined the national production of "Here Today" by actress Tallulah Bankhead and in 1965, she made her Broadway debut in James Baldwin's "The Amen Corner," which led to her being cast in her 1967 film debut "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," playing the role of the maid 'Tillie Banks' in the film which earned her good reviews. The same year, she also had a stint as a supporting cast member on "The Carol Burnett Show." She soon caught the attention of major Hollywood players, including television producer and writer Norman Lear, who cast her in the role of Louise Jefferson in "All in the Family" with actor Sherman Hemsley portraying her husband, that ultimately led to Lear spinning off their characters in their own weekly series "The Jeffersons." From 1979 until 1985 she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on "The Jeffersons" and in 1981 she became the first African-American woman to win the Emmy in that category. She also received five Golden Globe nominations for her work in "The Jeffersons." When "The Jeffersons" was cancelled in 1985, she continued her career with guest starring roles in television and film. In January 1987 she starred in her own sitcom "Isabel's Honeymoon Hotel," which aired five days a week in syndication. The series was created to showcase her comedy skills, but it failed to attract an audience and was quickly cancelled. In the 1990s she primarily appeared in television guest appearances and cameo appearances in movies. She appeared on television's "Dream On," "Living Single," "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper," "In the House," and "The Steve Harvey Show." In 1996, she had a supporting role in the action film "Original Gangstas." Her other film credits include "The New Centurions" (1972), Lady Sings the Blues" (1972), "Up in the Sandbox" (1972), "Love at First Bite" (1979), and "Sprung" (1997). During the mid-1990s she reprised her role as 'Louise Jefferson' in a touring company of "The Real Live Jeffersons" stage show, alongside Sherman Hemsley. She and Hemsley also made cameo appearances in films such as "Sprung, Mafia!" (1997) and two episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." They also appeared in a series of advertisements for Denny's and Old Navy. In September 2003 she underwent surgery on an artery in her neck. In the following months, her health steadily declined and she died of cardiopulmonary arrest and heart disease in Los Angeles, California at the age of 86. In 2004 she won the TV Lands Award for the Favorite Cantankerous Couple, with Sherman Hemsley. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to television. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 

Cause of death: Natural causes
 
Burial:
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Courts of Remembrance
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Gravefinder
Record added: Jul 12, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9088203
Isabel Sanford
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Isabel Sanford
Added by: A.J. Marik
 
Isabel Sanford
Added by: A.J. Marik
 
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