Sherman Hemsley aka ‘George Jefferson’ Dead At 74

According to Philadelphia Pop Culture Examiner, Victoria Miller, actor Sherman Hemsley, 74, died on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in El Paso, Texas.

Sherman Hemsley’s Background

Hemsley, Wikipedia states, was born and raised in South Philadelphia. He dropped out of school and joined the United States Air Force where he served for four years.

Hemsley’s Acting

Sherman Hemsley
Sherman Hemsley

Upon leaving the Air Force, Sherman Hemsley returned to Philadelphia where he worked for the Post Office during the day and attended acting school at night. He moved to New York to begin his acting career.

In the early 1970s Hemsley starred as Gitlow in Broadway’s Purlie.

The Jeffersons

From the early 1970s to early 1980s Hemsley portrayed a secondary character, George Jefferson, on TV’s “All In The Family.” A spin off, “The Jeffersons,” aired from 1975-1985 with Hemsley portraying the lead character, George Jefferson.

Though Hemsley was largely typecast as Jefferson, he continued to work steadily after the show’s cancellation. He teamed up with the show’s original cast members when The Jeffersons moved to Broadway for a brief period.

Acting in Later Years

In the 1980s and 1990s Hemsley worked on multiple stage and television projects.

By the late 1990s Hemsley retired, although he did appear in guest spots on a variety of TV shows, such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” He also shot a few commercials and worked occasionally with, Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree, Isabel Sanford, “Weezy,” until she had health problems that led to her death in 2004.


Sherman Hemsley died at home in El Paso of natural causes. Condolences go to his family.