Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson on The Jeffersons, has died at 74, according to police.
The actor, who first played the role of Jefferson in All in the Family, also played Deacon Ernest Frye on TV’s Amen.
Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, police say.
Born in South Philadelphia, Hemsley dropped out of high school to join the Air Force. He returned to Philadelphia and worked for the U.S. Postal Service, while taking acting classes at night.
After performing with local groups in Philadelphia, Hemsley moved to New York to make his Broadway debut as Gitlow in Purlie.
While touring with the production, television writer and producer Norman Lear contacted Hemsley to play the role of Jefferson on his new sitcom, All in the Family. Hemsley hesitated to accept but Lear held the role open for him and two years later, Hemsley joined the cast.
Less than two years after Hemsley made his television debut, he and All in the Family costar Isabel Sanford were given their own spin-off in The Jeffersons. The series earned Hemsley Emmy and Golden Globe nominations in 1984 and 1985 respectively.
Sanford died in 2004 at age 86. Read More