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I’m sorry to report that Sherman Helmsley has died at age 74.

He was best known as George Jefferson, a character that he first played in All in the Family and later on The Jeffersons, a role that earned him a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination.

Jeffrey Alexander Brathwaite wrote that as a young African-American in the ’70s, he didn’t have many role models:

“But in George Jefferson I witnessed weekly the fortitude and drive of a successful Black businessman. In a time where pimps and denim were all the rage, I marveled at this endearingly brazen Manhattan penthouse-dweller who owned a dry cleaning chain and had a preference for smart 3-piece suits.”

The Jeffersons ran for 11 seasons and ended in 1985.

People Magazine reports that Hemsley retired from acting after five years as Deacon Ernest Frye in NBC’s Amen:

“Although he retired from television acting, Hemsley joined [Isabel] Sanford through the late ’90s and early 2000s to reprise their roles as George and Louise ‘Weezy’ Jefferson on guest spots. The duo appeared on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and in commercials for Old Navy, Gap and Denny’s.”

Here’s our memories:

Helmsley died in El Paso, Texas, of natural causes.