TV Land will honor the life and work of comedic actor Sherman Hemsley with a four-hour marathon of his memorable episodes of The Jeffersons on Saturday, July 28th from 12pm-4pm ET/PT. Hemsley, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 74, is beloved for his portrayal of George Jefferson on the groundbreaking Norman Lear sitcom. The TV Land Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tvland) will also pay tribute to Hemsley, celebrating some of his greatest moments on television.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Sherman Hemsley,” said Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land. “Sherman was part of the TV Land family and his many contributions to television will be treasured. He will be sorely missed.”
Born in South Philadelphia, Hemsley made his Broadway debut in 1970 as Gitlow in Purlie. Soon after that, he was offered the part of entrepreneur and dry cleaner owner George Jefferson on Lear’s sitcom All in the Family. Hemsley’s character, George Jefferson, became so popular that Lear created a spin-off in 1975 – The Jeffersons. The character of George Jefferson garnered Hemsley Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. The Jeffersons ran for ten years and continues to run on TV Land today.
Hemsley later created more history by playing the egotistical, know-it-all deacon/lawyer at the First Community Church of Philadelphia on Amen. The series broke ground by being the first hit sitcom centered on religion and ran from 1986 to 1991. In addition to these memorable series, Hemsley continued in other supporting roles in feature films and television shows such as Love at First Bite and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He was also a professional singer and released an album in 1992.
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