Sherman Hemsley, actor identified as George Jefferson, found dead in Texas
Iconic character actor Sherman Hemsley was found dead in his El Paso home at the age of 74, police said Tuesday.
Hemsley, who played the ambitious and comically conniving African American dry cleaning magnate George Jefferson from 1975-85 on "The Jeffersons," appeared to have died of natural causes, police said. Producer Norman Lear created the George Jefferson role - which Hemsley first debuted in "All in the Family" - specifically for Hemsley, who had been in the Broadway smash,"Purlie."
Hemsley's passing was mourned immediately in the Twittersphere. "Rest in peace in the de-luxe apartment in the sky," tweeted music mogul Russell Simmons. "He made me dream I could move on up. Truth," tapped out former Cowboy and network analyst Deion Sanders. "Roast in peace, funny man," said comedian Jeffrey Ross.