Sherman Hemsley – or George Jefferson to a generation of TV viewers – has died, police said.
He was 74.
Hemsley’s nurse discovered him unresponsive inside his El Paso, Texas, home and called for help, TMZ.com reported.
Medical examiners have not released the cause of death, although TMZ said it was from natural causes.
Hemsley first appeared on television as the foil to the cantankerous Archie Bunker in “All in the Family” from 1973 to 1978.
Audiences embraced his character so well that Hemsley and Isabel Sanford earned a spinoff.
“The Jeffersons” debuted in January 1975 and continued for 253 episodes and 10 seasons.
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Hemsley was also an accomplished jazz musician who often played with 62nd Army Band in El Paso, KVIA.com reported.
RIP To My Longtime Friend & Comedic LEGEND, Sherman Hemsley aka George Jefferson. #NeverToBeForgotten
— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) July 24, 2012
“There was one time he shared a story that he and Bill Cosby used to hang out at the Playboy Jazz Festival with all the luminaries,” KTEP radio program director Dennis Woo said. “He would say that here’s a guy that used to be a postman and here he is hanging out with all the greats and getting to meet Dizzy Gillespie, among others.”
His acting career continued until 2011 and included “Amen,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and dozens of other appearances.
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