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 Sherman Alexander Hemsley

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Sherman Alexander Hemsley

  • Birth 1 Feb 1938 Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 24 Jul 2012 El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA
  • Burial El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA
  • Plot Section M1, Site 73
  • Memorial ID 94144440

Actor. He is best remembered for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television comedy series "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" and as Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC television comedy series "Amen." Born Sherman Alexander Hemsley, he dropped out of high school and joined the US Air Force, serving for 4 years. After his enlistment was completed, he returned to Philadelphia, working for the US Post Office and attending night classes at the Academy of Dramatic Arts. He moved to New York city, New York, and continued to work for the US Post Office while working as an actor at night, performing in local stage productions. In 1972, he joined the Vinnie Carroll musical "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope" ensemble in Toronto, Canada, performing the solos "Lookin' Over From Your Side" in Act I and "Sermon" in Act II. During this time he also he landed a role as the character Gitlow in the Broadway play "Purlie." His performance in "Purlie" came to the attention of Norman Lear who asked him to play the role of George Jefferson in the television series "All in the Family." He was at first reluctant to leave the theater but Lear told him that he would hold the role open for him. Two years later, he joined the cast with Isabel Sanford, who played his wife Louise, and in less than two years they was given their own spin-off television series "The Jeffersons," which ran eleven seasons from 1975 through 1985. In 1986, he joined the cast of the television series "Amen" which ran five seasons until 1991. He then became a voice actor in the ABC live-action puppet series "Dinosaurs," playing Bradley R. Richfield, which ran four seasons until 1994. He then retired from acting but continued to appear with Isabel Sanford, reprising their roles on televisions shows as "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and in commercials for Denny's, Old Navy, and The Gap. He also made three appearances in the television series "Sister Sister" and a voice appearance as himself in Seth McFarlane's animated comedy "Family Guy," as well as performing minor roles in several movies, including "Love at First Bite" (1979), "Figure It Out" (1999), and "Up, Up. And Away" (2000). He died of lung cancer.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Lisa M. Croner
  • Added: 24 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 94144440
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sherman Alexander Hemsley (1 Feb 1938–24 Jul 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 94144440, citing Fort Bliss National Cemetery, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .