In Remembrance: Sherman Hemsley in Game Shows
This afternoon, it was announced that famed television actor Sherman Hemsley had died in his home in El Paso, Texas at the age of 74. He was famous for his role as George Jefferson on the groundbreaking sitcom All in the Family from 1973 to 1975, leaving that series to spin off from that program into its own series The Jeffersons. That show, following the groundbreaking trail its parent series blazed, lasted an impressive 11 seasons on CBS, ending its run in 1985. Hemsley found more success the next year, starring as a deacon on the series Amen lasting another five seasons.
Hemsley’s easy-going nature and ability to entertain so simply made him a natural fit for a game show panelist. He was a celebrity player on a short-lived revival of the Tom Kennedy word game You Don’t Say! in 1975. He appeared now and again in the 1970s on the original Hollywood Squares and showed up thirty years later as an occasional square in the later years of the Tom Bergeron-hosted Squares. In 1999, when The Jeffersons premiered in repeats on Nickelodeon’s primetime/late night network Nick at Nite, Hemsley was a panelist on the Wild Style version of the Nick kids’ game show Figure It Out. His biggest-profile appearance happened in March 2001 when he appeared as one of ten celebrities on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire‘s “Classic TV Week.” He had the dubious honor of being the last – of all ten – to come out of the Fastest Finger round. We have, below, Sherman’s entire game for viewing from the original ABC airing.
Sherman Hemsley on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, 2001:
Feel free to share your favorite Sherman Hemsley moments, game show related or not, below.