Remembering Sherman Hemsley

Sherman Hemsley became a household name for his memorable TV character George Jefferson. INSIDE EDITION remembers the man behind one of TV's most iconic sitcoms.  

Across the USA, people are remembering Sherman Hemsley today by singing the song from his show, The Jeffersons, one of the most iconic TV theme songs ever—from the ladies on The View, to the Harlem gospel choir on Good Morning America.

Hemsley died from natural causes at his home in El Paso, Texas. He was 74 years old.

Hemsley appeared as a guest weatherman on our El Paso affiliate, KDBC TV in 2001.

Marla Gibbs played Florence, the feisty maid who drove Mr. Jefferson up the wall. She and Hemsley remained close friends.

"Sherman and I really loved each other," said Gibbs. "In real life, Sherman was an introvert. But on screen, he was on extrovert. He turned it on just like that."

Despite his success, Hemsley had financial problems. In 1999, he declared bankruptcy. That's how he ended up in El Paso. He was forced to move into a house owned by his manager.

Marla says if she could speak to him just one more time, he might say, " 'Hey Florence. Come on up here. It's not bad.' Not yet, George. Not yet."