News: Sherman "George Jefferson" Hemsley Dead At 74

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 5:06PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Famed television star Sherman Hemsley, most known for his portrayal as George Jefferson from "The Jeffersons," has passed away at the age of 74.

Reports of his untimely death emerged online Tuesday (July 24) afternoon.

Sherman Hemsley, the actor who made the character George Jefferson famous in "The Jeffersons," has died at his El Paso home, according to a friend in El Paso. Hemsley, 74, starred in The Jeffersons and Amen TV shows. He also was a musician and performed a few times with the 62nd Army Band in El Paso. Dennis Woo, program director at KTEP radio, said Hemsley would call the radio station every so often and share stories off air with Woo. (KVIA News)

His passing caught the attention of radio veteran Big Tigger who sent out his condolences.

"Dam Sherman Helmsley aka #GeorgeJefferson passed away. Grew up on that!! #RIP," he tweeted July 24th. (Big Tigger's Twitter)

Hemsley's "George Jefferson" name has also been used in various raps over the past few decades.

"Like dude that's messin with Jeezy,I hit that switch and we movin on up just like George Jefferson's," Chamillionaire raps on "The Game Gonna Cost a Fee. ("The Game Gonna Cost a Fee")
"Excellence/Two-door preference, roof gone, George Jefferson/That white frost on that pound cake so your," Pusha T raps on "Mercy." ("Mercy")

Back in 2001, Midwest rapper Nelly featured the "Jeffersons" theme song words on his "Batter Up" single.

"Batter Up" is included as a Bonus Track on the Free City Album and remixed on Da Derrty Versions. It was also the last single to be released from that album. The song's hook and chorus allude to the theme song of the television sitcom, The Jeffersons. That show's star, Sherman Hemsley, appears in the music video for "Batter Up", initially as a sports announcer and later dancing with members of St. Lunatics. (Wikipedia)

The iconic urban figure reportedly had no wife or children.

The actor played Jefferson in All in the Family and its successful spin-off, The Jeffersons. He also played Deacon Ernest Frye on Amen. Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, police tell TMZ. El Paso TV news station KVIA also reports the actor died there, citing a friend. Hemsley had no wife or children. (People)

Check out the "Batter Up" music video below:

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