Sherman Hemsley, best known for his role as George Jefferson in the hit comedy “The Jeffersons” passed away yesterday. His breakout role on “All in the Family” led to an 11-season run of The Jeffersons and earned Hemsley an iconic place in television history.
Before Hemsley’s television career he served in the Air Force for four years and worked at the Postal Service for about eight years while spending his nights attending acting school.
Although the cause of Hemsley’s death is unclear, TMZ reports that the actor passed away at his El Paso, Texas, home.
Hemsley made a name for himself as George Jefferson, carrying the iconic sitcom for a decade and earning a 1984 Emmy nomination for his work as lead actor in a comedy series. The actor went on to appear on a handful of other classic television shows including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The Hughleys.” He also starred as Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series “Amen” for several years.
The Philadelphia born and raised sitcom actor was also an accomplished singer, recording the 1989 single “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” and releasing his R&B album, “Dance,” in 1992.
Before becoming a household name, Hemsley served in the Air Force for four years — dropping out of high school to do so — before going on to work for the post office for eight years.