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'The Jefferson' star Sherman Hemsley dead at 74

Posted on Jul 27, 10:30AM | BNO News

American actor Sherman Hemsley, who starred as George Jefferson in the 1970s television series 'The Jeffersons' and 'All in the Family', died at his home in Texas on Tuesday, police said. He was 74.

El Paso police spokesman Darrel Petry said Hemsley was found dead at his residence in the city's eastside. "The preliminary investigation revealed that Sherman Hemsley was found at the residence without signs of life," he said. "No foul play is suspected. Notification of next of kin was made by Crimes Against Persons (CAP) detectives late Tuesday evening."

The El Paso County Medical Examiner's Office said on Wednesday that it would not conduct an autopsy because the actor is believed to have died of natural causes.

Born in Philadelphia in 1938, Hemsley got his first big break in 1973 by playing George Jefferson on the CBS television series 'All in the Family'. In 1975, he brought his George Jefferson character to even further prominence by starring alongside his on-screen wife Isabel Sanford in 'The Jeffersons', a spin-off of 'All in the Family'. He remained in this role for 11 seasons.

Following the series' cancellation, Hemsley returned to television in 1986 on NBC's 'Amen', playing a deacon of a church in his real-time hometown of Philadelphia. The show lasted for 5 seasons. His final regular role began in 1991 when he played a Triceratops on the television program 'Dinosaurs'.