Old 07-24-2012, 04:20 PM
Sherman Hemsley has passed away

from tmz:

Sherman Hemsley, the actor who made the character George Jefferson famous in "The Jeffersons," has died, El Paso cops TMZ has learned.

Hemsley died at him home in El Paso, Texas.

Hemsley, who was 74, became famous during his appearances on "All in the Family." The spin-off, "The Jeffersons" was a monster hit. He also starred in the TV show, "Amen." He was also a professional singer and even released the single in 1989, "Ain't that A Kick in the Head."

Hemsley had no wife and no kids.

It's unclear how he died.

The second 6 months of this year have turned into a grave yard! We have lost a lot of great people in the past month
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:21 PM
I am so happy to be the first to say this

He's movin on up
To the North Side
To a DeLuxe apartment in the sky

RIP Buddy. I loved Amen every bit as much as the Jeffersons.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:33 PM
Loved The Jeffersons as well. It's a shame the show went off the air without a series finale or farewell episode. I think with Hemsley's death, all of the older cast is now gone.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:28 AM
I used to watch The Jeffersons regularly, then Amen was a part of my Saturday Nights with The Golden Girls and Hunter.

He played a meany like no one else.

<insert dancing Hemsley gif>
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:51 AM
He was one of the actors along with Lucille Ball who got me interested in oldie TV shows because of how good they were. RIP, Mr. Hemsley.

Time to light up some Sherm in his honor.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:18 AM
R.I.P to Sherman Hemsley
The Jeffersons and Amen would not have been the same without your
comedic swagger
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:05 AM
A wonderful actor and one of the best things about TV for many years.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:24 PM
RIP Sherman Hemsley - Everything Hemsley was in was made funnier just by having him in it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:45 PM
Originally Posted by Erroneous View Post
I am so happy to be the first to say this

He's movin on up
To the North Side
To a DeLuxe apartment in the sky

RIP Buddy. I loved Amen every bit as much as the Jeffersons.
Not gonna lie, that's what I came here to post.

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Old 07-25-2012, 03:32 PM
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:05 PM
After hearing about his interest in LSD, I think it've been great to have him re-team with Danny DeVito (both appeared in Screwed) for an episode of It's Always Sunny
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:16 PM
Man, he was awesome. I loved his role as the crazy judge in Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:21 PM
George Jefferson: World’s Biggest Gong Fan?
March 5, 2009

This is one of the most mind-blowingly weird anecdotes MAGNET has ever published. Ten years ago, writer Mitch Myers profiled prog-rock legend Daevid Allen (Soft Machine, Gong), who told us of his strange encounter with actor Sherman Hemsley (a.k.a. George Jefferson). Here is the story of Hemsley’s obsession with flying teapots and his alleged den of iniquity that housed an LSD lab, a harem of naked girls and crack/freebase depots on every floor.

In 1999, I interviewed musician Daevid Allen for MAGNET at a small recording studio in San Francisco. Allen was an odd sort, with plenty of old stories to tell. Back in the 1960s, he was a founding member of wonderfully creative British band Soft Machine. But Aleen didn’t stay with the Soft Machine for long and ended up forming another psychedelic rock group called Gong.

In his life, Allen has hung out with everybody from William Burroughs, Jimi Hendrix, Bud Powell and Paul McCartney to Syd Barrett, Keith Richards, Richard Branson and a whole bunch of other famous people that he can’t remember. One famous person Allen does recall spending time with is Sherman Hemsley, a.k.a. George Jefferson of ’70s sitcom The Jeffersons. Hemsley had been a jazz keyboardist before portraying Jefferson on television, and his progressive sensibilities led him to appreciate the offbeat sounds of Allen and Gong. Apparently, cosmic Gong compositions such as “Flying Teapot” and “Pot Head Pixies” resonated with the TV star’s psyche. Years after Allen’s encounter with Hemsley, the actor would go on to collaborate with Jon Anderson, lead singer of hugely successful prog-rock group Yes. The Hemsley/Anderson production was called Festival Of Dreams and supposedly described the spiritual qualities of the number seven.

Here is Allen’s verbatim account of his sole meeting with certified Gong fanatic Hemsley:

“It was 1978 or 1979, and Sherman Hemsley kept ringing me up. I didn’t know him from a bar of soap because we didn’t have television in Spain (where I was living). He called me from Hollywood saying, ‘I’m one of your biggest fans and I’m going to fly you here and put flying teapots all up and down the Sunset Strip.’ I thought, ‘This guy is a lunatic.’ He kept it up so I said, ‘Listen, can you get us tickets to L.A. via Jamaica? I want to go there to make a reggae track and have a honeymoon with my new girlfriend.’ He said, ‘Sure! I’ll get you two tickets.’

I thought, ‘Well, even if he’s a nut case at least he’s coming up with the goodies.’ The tickets arrived and we had this great honeymoon in Jamaica. Then we caught the plane across to L.A. We had heard Sherman was a big star, but we didn’t know the details. Coming down the corridor from the plane, I see this black guy with a whole bunch of people running after him trying to get autographs. Anyway, we get into this stretch limousine with Sherman and immediately there’s a big joint being passed around. I say, ‘Sorry man, I don’t smoke.’ Sherman says, ‘You don’t smoke and you’re from Gong?’

Inside the front door of Sherman’s house was a sign saying, ‘Don’t answer the door because it might be the man.’ There were two Puerto Ricans that had a LSD laboratory in his basement, so they were really paranoid. They also had little crack/freebase depots on every floor. Then Sherman says, ‘Come on upstairs and I’ll show you the Flying Teapot room.’ Sherman was very sweet but was surrounded by these really crazy people.

We went up to the top floor and there was this big room with darkened windows and “Flying Teapot” is playing on a tape loop over and over again. There were also three really dumb-looking, very voluptuous Southern gals stoned and wobbling around naked. They were obviously there for the guys to play around with.

[My girlfriend] Maggie and I were really tired and went to our room to go to bed. The room had one mattress with an electric blanket and that was it. No bed covering, no pillow, nothing. The next day we came down and Sherman showed us a couple of [The Jeffersons] episodes.

One of our fans came and rescued us, but not before Sherman took us to see these Hollywood PR people. They said, ‘Well, Mr. Hemsley wants us to get the information we need in order to do these Flying Teapot billboards on Sunset Strip.’ I looked at them and thought they were the cheesiest, most nasty people that I had ever seen in my life and I gave them the runaround. I just wanted out of there. I liked Sherman a lot. He was a very personable, charming guy. I just had a lot of trouble with the people around him.”

Post script: After completing the MAGNET article, I ran the finished text through a computerized spell check. Upon encountering Daevid Allen’s first name, the (Word Services) Apple Events Spellswell7 instructed me to replace “Daevid” with the word “teapot.” Somewhere in Silicon Valley, a very clever Gong fan was laughing.

Mitch Myers is the author of The Boy Who Cried Freebird: Rock & Roll Fables And Sonic Storytelling.
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