Sherman Hemsley, the cranky funny star of the smash hit sitcom, THE JEFFERSONS, has died. His nurse thought that he was sleeping, but then realized that something was wrong and called for emergency help, that weren’t able to revive the actor.

THE JEFFERSONS was originally a spin-off of the actor’s character on ALL IN THE FAMILY, and became a smash hit on it’s own. Sherman Hemsley also starred in the popular comedy, AMEN, as well and was a very good singer, although he had a great penchant for playing the straight man with comedy acting.

The actor neither had a wife or children, and was found dead in his sleep in his El Paso, Texas home. It is not clear what health problems he had been facing that required medical care from a nurse.

Sherman Hemsley goes down in history as one of the greatest comic African-American actors of all time as TV began to open up to new hit shows with nearly all-African-American cast members that had crossover appeal to a wide audience. Sherman Hemsley was so funny, that his comic appeal transcended race, making THE JEFFERSONS a ground breaking comedy for it’s time. He was a very fine entertainer. A real legend. And a great loss to the world of comedy acting.