Actor Sherman Hemsley, who became a household name as George Jefferson on All in the Family and his hit sitcom The Jeffersons, has reportedly passed away at the age of 74.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Hemsley served in the Air Force before pursuing a career as an actor. He hit Broadway in the early 1970's in Ossie Davis' "Purlie." It was during the show's run that TV producer Norman Lear called Hemsley and offered him a role on "All in the Family." He joined the show two years later and less than two years after that, George Jefferson and wife Weezy (played by the late Isabel Stanford) received their own spin-off. The Jeffersons had a successful 11-year-run, ending in 1985.
In 1986, Hemsley took on the role of Deacon Earnest Frye on NBC's Amen, which ran through 1991. He then provided voice talent to ABC's live-action series Dinosaurs for five seasons until its' cancelation in 1994.
We send our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Sherman Hemsley, a true original who will be greatly missed.