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Tuesday
Jul242012

"Jeffersons" Star Sherman Hemsley Dies at 74

SGranitz/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Sherman Hemsley, the actor best known for playing George Jefferson on All in the Family and The Jeffersons, has died, his publicist confirmed to ABC News. He was 74.

His cause of death was not immediately known.

Hemsley acted on stage before going to the screen, making his Broadway debut as Gitlow in Purlie. He first found sitcom stardom in All in the Family, playing Archie Bunker’s African-American neighbor.

In 1975, Hemsley and his All in the Family co-star Isabel Sanford were given their own spin-off, The Jeffersons. The hit show earned Hemsley Emmy and Golden Globe nominations in 1984 and 1985, respectively.

From 1986 to 1991, Hemsley played Deacon Ernest Frye the TV series, Amen.

Hemsley and Sanford reunited multiple times in the ’90s and ’00s to reprise their roles as George and Louise "Weezy" Jefferson, appearing on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and in commercials.

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