Actor Sherman Hemsley Has Died

The Jeffersons star was 74.

Posted: 07/24/2012 04:36 PM EDT
Sherman Hemsley

UPDATE: The El Paso Police Department has released a statement confirming that Sherman Hemsley was found dead in his home on Tuesday morning:

"The El Paso Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons (CAP) unit responded to an eastside residence Tuesday morning regarding a death unattended," the statement reads. "The preliminary investigation revealed that Sherman Hemsley was found at the residence without signs of life.  The exact cause of death is pending autopsy results. No foul play is suspected. Notification of next of kin was made by CAP detectives late Tuesday evening."

Hemsley had no spouse or children, so it is not apparent who his next of kin is.


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Sherman Hemsley, star of the popular 1980s sitcom The Jeffersons, is dead at 74.

TMZ reports the actor died in his El Paso, Texas, home of natural causes. He leaves behind no spouse or children.

Hemsley first rose to fame as a regular on All in the Family before he became a star in his own right as lead actor of its spin-off series The Jeffersons, in which he played thorny-yet-lovable dry-cleaning tycoon George Jefferson.


Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hemsley made his acting debut in local theater and landed his first breakthrough role in a Broadway production of Purlie. While on Broadway, he was discovered by television magnate Norman Lear and offered the part of George Jefferson on All in the Family. Within two years, he was given his own spin-off series The Jeffersons, with co-star Isabel Sanford.


Hemsley also starred in another sitcom, Amen, as well as guest-starring on many other series, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He recently appeared in numerous television commercials for Old Navy and Denny's.


His last television appearance was a guest spot on Tyler Perry's House of Payne, where he reprised his character George Jefferson.

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(Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

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