Sherman Hemsley, who's best known for his portrayal as Archie Bunker's strong-headed neighbor George Jefferson in 1970's "All in the Family" and its spin-off "The Jeffersons", has passed away. The El Paso, Texas, police announced the actor was found "without signs of life" at his home. He was 74.
Norman Lear, producer of "The Jeffersons" and "All in the Family", remembered Hemsley as a "immensely talented" actor. He added, "When the Jeffersons moved in next door to the Bunkers, I wanted to deliver the George Jefferson who could stand up to Archie Bunker. .. The minute he opened his mouth he was George Jefferson."
Hemsley's co-star Marla Gibbs additionally said, "Sherman was one of the most generous co-stars I have ever worked with. He happily set me up so that I could slam him, and I did the same for him. I shall miss him deeply." Gibbs played the Jeffersons' mouthy maid, Florence Johnston, in the show.
In addition to acting, Hemsley pursued career in music. He released a single "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" in 1989, and planned to tour in musical "Ain't Misbehavin' " with longtime friend Jackee Harry. "It's a sad, sad, sad day," Harry said. She also recalled that he seemed in good spirit when they had a conversation about the tour plan.