Sherman Hemsley Dies Aged 74: His Greatest Television Roles
Sherman Hemsley has died in his home, aged 74, Texas Police in El Paso have confirmed. The cause of death is currently unknown. Here, we take a look at Hemsley's legacy and some of his greatest film and television roles:
The Jeffersons - Hemsley was undoubtedly best known for his starring role in The Jeffersons. The spin-off show from 'All in the Family' became a huge success in its own right and was notable for breaking a few taboos along the way. With the introduction of a black family with their own maid and TV's first mixed-race couple, the show ran for 11 seasons and Hemsley was one of its biggest stars, landing himself several Emmy and Grammy award nominations. In the words of Entertainment Weekly, "Watching George Jefferson was to witness a man comfortable in his own skin - and that that skin was black was significant."
Amen- more sitcom work for Hemsley; this time playing the role of Deacon Ernest Frye. Hemsley led the African-American cast from 1986 until the series finally wrapped in 1991.
Goode Behaviour - This was one of Sherman's last regular TV gigs, though it lasted for just one season, in 1996. He played the role of Willie Goode, one of the lead characters in the comedy series.
Fresh Prince of Bel Air - Sherman Hemsley's guest appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was a notable stroke of genius, as he reprised the role of George Jefferson for the brief part. His appearance on the show was evidently a nod to the fact that The Jeffersons had paved the way for shows such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air.