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Moving On Up: The Passing Of TV Icon Sherman Hemsley

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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

American TV icon Sherman Hemsley passed away yesterday at his home in El Paso Texas of natural causes.

The Philadelphia native, who made George Jefferson and Deacon Frye household names, was 74. Hemsley will always be remembered for his abrasively-charming sense of humor and his unprecedented dance moves.

Accomplished on stage was well as screen, he began acting with local theater groups in Philadelphia before moving to New York, where he made his Broadway debut in 1970’s Purlie.

Hemsley left the stage for television to play the now iconic character, George Jefferson on All in the Family. The characters of George and Weezy were so popular that they garnered Hemsley and co-star Isabel Sanford their own spin-off series, The Jeffersons.

The Jeffersons went on to become one the most successful television series of all time; running for eleven seasons.

In 1986 Hemsley took on the role of Ernest Frye in NBC’s sitcom Amen; which enjoyed a successful run of five seasons.

Hemsley will always be remembered as the loud-mouth, hilariously funny, hugely opinionated characters that he played. A brilliant character actor and a pioneer in African-American entertainment; his legacy lives on in TV history.

Enjoy a few of our favorite TV moments with the late Sherman Hemsley.

-Jennifer Hall, CBS Local

The Jeffersons

George gets locked in the bathroom by accident with Tom and Helen Willis while trying to hide from Bentley.

Amen

When the youth of the church start to leave the church, Deacon Frye devises a plan to get them to return.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Phil runs for office against incumbent Judge Robertson.

The Jeffersons

George tries to win favor with a interracial couple for business purposes by inviting them to dinner. However, interracial couple and friends, Tom and Helen refuse to help him after he offends them and George must rely on Florence and doorman Ralph’s acting skills.

Amen

Deacon Frye accepts a case from an old law school rival.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford reprise their roles as George and Weezy in this episode of The Fresh Prince.

The Jeffersons

Louise is excited that she’s nominated for the Volunteer of the Year award for her work down at the Help Center. However, this quickly changes when she finds out that George has bribed one of the judges.

Hemsley’s Iconic Moves

Pure comedy in motion!

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