by Kitty Savage
The iconic comedic actor of quick wit and a funky sway to his step, Sherman Hemsley, has moved on up “to that Deluxe Apartment in the Sky.” Sherman’s nurse reported that he had passed away in his sleep yesterday, July 24th, 2012, at the age of 74. TV Land announced today that it will be running a marathon of The Jeffersons episodes over the weekend, in honor and memory of the star.
Hemsley gained national fame as the star of The Jeffersons television program that ran, impressively, from the mid 70′s through the mid 80′s, and from which work Sherman forever became affectionately known to most fans as “George Jefferson,” with the role of the sharp-tongued, no-nonsense, self-made man becoming his most apparent typecast. And nobody could do it better….
Nick at Night reruns of The Jeffersons allowed younger cats of my generation to tune in to the pure, snappy comedy of the retro series. I can personally remember seeing the bridge built between the generations of black sitcoms when Sherman appeared repeatedly on the 90′s comedies Sister, Sister and Smart Guy as well as on Fresh Prince - in each, starring as the funky old grandpa. For many fans, Sherman seemed to be keeping up appearances as the usher of many talents who came after his wild success.
If you ask me, Sherman was hardly ever acting- he was funky all along. In fact, in 1989, he showed off his singing chops, releasing a reeeeeal funky single (80′s stylee) called “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head.” Well scooby dooby dooby doo-wah…..check it out below. Also, it was said that George was a huge fan of psychedelic rock, had music collaborations with members of YES, and had experimented with LSD- even supposedly having a lab to create the psychotropics. Click here for that rousing article.
Note from Kitty: The Jeffersons has always been a favorite TV show of mine. I have all the DVD’s and have worn them out. Television just isn’t written, or acted, with as much flavor or direction these days. Sherman made that show the authentic success it was. All love to his family and friends, and the many talents to have worked with the legend.