Sherman Hemsley of 'The Jeffersons' Fame in His Final Years
Seven years after his death, Sherman Hemsley is still remembered as a true and legendary actor, and we share his last days on earth in this article.
Until his death in 2012, Sherman Hemsley was best known for his role as George Jefferson on the television series "The Jeffersons."
Actress Isabel Sanford (left) and Actor Sherman Hemsley pick up their Favorite Cantankerous Couple awards on stage at the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards held | Photo: Getty Images
Soon after his death in 2012, Business Insider reported that the actor's body was found in his home, with no sign of foul play.
PEOPLE recalled that Sherman had dropped out of high school to join the Air Force before he returned to Philadelphia where he worked for the U.S. Postal Service.
While he worked at the postal during the day, he would attend acting classes at night.
Actor Sherman Helmsley speaks at the MTV Networks Upfront 2003 presentation to advertisers at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden | Photo: Getty Images
Soon, the late actor began performing with local groups in Philadelphia, which hastened his move to New York, where he made his Broadway debut as Gitlow in "Purlie."
IMDB added that Sherman toured with the cast and crew of "Purlie" for a year before he got a call from the producer, creator, and writer Norman Lear. Norman asked the actor to audition for a role, which would be part of "All in the Family."
Actor Sherman Hemsley arrives at the LG's Mobile TV Party held at Paramount Studios | Photo: Getty Images
However, due to his commitment to the "Purlie" project, Hemsley turned down the invitation to audition for the role. Sherman's refusal didn't deter Norman, who promised to keep the part open for the latter.
"One of his co-stars, Marla Gibbs, said, 'I thought Sherman was doing very well. I am saddened to hear that Sherman has made his transition.'"
Two years later, Sherman got picked to join the cast of the spin-off of the show "All in the Family," known as "The Jeffersons."
Actress Isabel Sanford (L) and Actor Sherman Hemsley (R) on stage at the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards held at The Hollywood Palladium, | Photo: Getty Images
Despite the twenty-year gap between the duo, Isabel Stanford got chosen to star as Sherman's onscreen wife. That decision turned out to be a great one as fans loved the pair's onscreen marriage, which many described as "truly hilarious."
It wasn't long before the multi-talented actor got nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as George Jefferson.
Actor Sherman Helmsley, of the 1970s television show "The Jeffersons," poses backstage at the MTV Networks Upfront 2003 presentation to advertisers at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden | Photo: Getty Images
During the five years that the show ran on CBS, the cast and crew became close, so when the news of his death was made public, they were hurt. CNN reported that one of his co-stars, Marla Gibbs, said:
"I thought Sherman was doing very well. I am saddened to hear that Sherman has made his transition. We were trying to come up with a new show that we could participate in, but of course, that cannot happen now."
Actor Sherman Hemsley attends the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards held | Photo: Getty Images
Years later, fans and celebrities still remember Sherman as one of the most generous and charismatic people to have worked in Hollywood.