Actor Sherman Hemsley, best known for his role as George Jefferson in The Jeffersons, was born on February 1, 1938. His career in film and television span at least 35 years. Hemsley appeared first the 1970s CBS sitcom All in the Family in a supporting role. The show constantly ranked number one in the ratings throughout its first five years, earning the number four spot in TV Guide's list of 50 greatest TV shows of all time. The Jeffersons, of course, would turn out to be the longest running series with a predominantly African-American cast in American television history. Hemsley's role in this sitcom would likewise prove to be the actor's most iconic portrayal yet. Life, however, was not always smooth sailing for Hemsley. With his mother working in a factory, he was forced to drop out of school to join the Air Force. When his tenure in the Air Force ended, he also worked for the post office by day, while working as an actor by night.
In 2006, Hemsley was cast in VH1 reality show The Surreal Life season 6. The show features celebrities who are said to have been past their primes and puts them in a Hollywood Hills mansion for two weeks, all while being followed by an unforgiving camera that aimed to capture their every move. Hemsley was not only the oldest personality in the house, he was also the only African-American, in a season which also featured a transsexual and two rock stars among others. In season 6, the cast was made to shoot a music video, produce and broadcast a live news program, host their own talk show, and participate in a battle of the bands competition. Hemsley was cast as the weatherman in the news program episode.
(Photo courtesy of VH1)
.George Jefferson, Hemsley's character on "The Jeffersons" (1975), was ranked #44 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time"
The name "Weezy" came about due to a girl Sherman Hemsley had a crush on in real-life, named Louise. Sherman Hemsley would call her Weezy, and one day asked Isabel Sanford if he could call her character Weezy and she said yes.
Sherman Hemsley is also a professional singer having released a single in 1989 called, "Ain't That A Kick In The Head", with Sutra Records.