'Jeffersons' Star Sherman Hemsley Dies

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Actor Sherman Hemsley, who became a TV icon in the 1970s, died today at 74, ET has learned.

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Police report that the Golden Globe nominee, perhaps best known for his role as George Jefferson, passed away at his home in El Paso, Texas.

Hemsley broke into television in 1973, appearing on All in the Family. His character's popularity earned him his own spinoff, The Jeffersons.

During its 10-year run, the program broke barriers as the first prime time show to star an upscale African-American couple. The show was also ahead of its time in casting the first interracial couple on a major sitcom.

After The Jeffersons, Hemsley continued to score choice roles, including guest spots on Family Matters, Martin, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and, most recently, Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
Hemsley had no wife or children.