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The Jeffersons Star Sherman Hemsley Dead at 74

24 July 2012 6:04 PM, PDT | | See recent Worst Previews news »

Sherman Hemsley, who starred as George Jefferson on CBS' long-running sitcom "The Jeffersons," died Tuesday, apparently of natural causes, in El Paso, Texas. He was 74. Hemsley's George Jefferson began as a recurring character on Norman Lear's 1970s sitcom "All in the Family." Spinoff "The Jeffersons," starring Hemsley and Isabel Sanford as his wife, "Weezy," ran from 1975-85. Hemsley was nominated for an Emmy for lead actor in a comedy in 1984. (Sanford died in 2004.) Hemsley also starred for five seasons beginning in 1986 in the NBC comedy "Amen" as Deacon Ernest Frye. The actor reprised the role of George Jefferson in the mid-'90s on two episodes of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," starring Will Smith, and in a 2011 episode of Tyler Perry sitcom "House of Payne." He also played Jefferson in an uncredited bit in the 1998 feature comedy "Jane Austen's Mafia." But Hemsley was a busy actor for decades »

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