The African American actor Sherman Alexander Hemsley, whose career spanned from 1973 to 2011, had few stories about the contrast in his roles in sitcoms before he passed away.
Many celebrities try to separate their personal life from the ones on the screen. The roles they play are usually decided by their talent or how much they can express the character.
Hemsley played a family man on screen but fathered no heir in real life. Neither did he have any known family members.
The popular actor did not enjoy a life of privilege as he grew up in a rough part of Philadelphia and had an incomplete education.
He dropped out of Edward W. Bok Technical High School in the 10th grade to join the Air Force. He was with the US Air Force for four years and was stationed in Asia after the Korean War.
After leaving the Air Force, he worked for the Post Office during the day, and at night, he attended Philadelphia’s Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Despite his shy and stoic persona, he was in the limelight due to the several movie roles he bagged in his lifetime.
In an interview, the veteran actor claimed that his character on “The Jeffersons” was directly opposed to his reality. He was also of the opinion that the character of George Jefferson seemed like a wild man.
Besides being an actor, Hemsley was also a professional singer and released a single in 1989 called “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head,” with Sutra Records.
Years after the passing of the seasoned actor, getTV posted a retrospective post to Facebook on July 24, 2018, to honor the actor. They showcased him in one of his other features — “All In The Family.”
The post, which urged their audience to watch it, had its comment section flooded with many comments from fans that still hold him dear to their hearts.
There were a lot of RIPs and praises for the iconic tv star. Some fans were a bit emotional as they shared their most excellent screen appearance of him.
HIS DEATH AND CONTROVERSY
Hemsley died in July 2012 of lung cancer at the age of 74. However, they did not bury him for another four months. This was due to a dispute between his business manager and live-in partner, Flora Enchinton Bernal, and a long-lost half-brother, Richard Thornton.
Both parties claimed that they each had the right to dispose of his remains and could not agree on the decisions to be made.
Even after he was later buried in El Paso, Texas, in November 2012, the dispute carried on for another two years. However, a month before his death, Hemsley executed a will and named “beloved partner” as the sole beneficiary of his estate.
A lawyer later confirmed that Hemsley, who served in the US Air Force, was eligible for a military burial. One was planned for him at Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso and was to proceed after the final court proceedings.