The Archive is sad to report the death of actor Sherman Hemsely, who passed away at the age of 74. Hemsley was best known for playing “George Jefferson” on the All in the Family spin-off The Jeffersons, and “Deacon Earnest Frye” on Amen. He also voiced “B.P. Richfield” on Dinosaurs, had recurring roles on The Love Boat and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and enjoyed an active career on Broadway.
Below are some selections from Hemsley’s 2003 Archive interview:
On his screen test for The Jeffersons’ executive producer, Norman Lear:
On “George Jefferson”:
On playing “Deacon Earnest Frye” on Amen:
On following his own path:
On advice to aspiring actors:
You got something steady telling you everyday, “go, go, go.” So rather than fight the voice, you just got to say ,”whew” and just start. That’s my advice to people – you want to do it? Start … Just go for it. Go for it; it’s fun.
Watch Sherman Hemsley’s full Archive interview
Read his obituary in The Huffington Post