02:20 PM EDT 04/13/2013
Originally posted 07/24/2012 04:40PM
Sherman Hemsley, the hot-tempered, upwardly mobile, janitor-turned-dry-cleaner-owner George Jefferson in TV's iconic The Jeffersons, has died at 74.
Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, police say. A cause of death was not immediately known.
Introduced each week with the gospel Movin' On Up theme song, producer Norman Lear's show gave Hemsley a larger-than-life character who delivered a brand of comedy all his own.
Zingers like "If I paid you to think, you could cash your check at the penny arcade!" paired with over-the-top gestures left audiences across the country in stitches. The show has lived on for years in reruns on cable.
The actor, who first played the role in All in the Family – going head to bigoted head with Carroll O'Connor's Archie Bunker – went on to embody a softer character, Deacon Ernest Frye on TV's Amen.
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