Sherman Hemsley

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Jeffersons and Silver Spoons Director Jack Shea dies at 84

Jack Shea

Inveterate TV sitcom director and Directors Guild of America chief Jack Shea died on Sunday in Los Angeles at age 84.

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The Jeffersons' Sherman Hemsley Dead at 74

Sherman Hemsley

Sherman Hemsley, best known for playing the vocal patriarch George Jefferson on The Jeffersons, died Tuesday, TMZ reports. He was 74.

He died at his El Paso, Texas, home, of natural causes, police told TMZ.

Remember other celebrities we lost this year

A theater actor in his early years, Hemsley originated the role of George Jefferson on... read more

Surreal Life Maybe I was overly...

Surreal LifeMaybe I was overly optimistic about this edition of The Surreal Life when I wrote about it last week. The second episode didn't bring any of the drama I was anticipating or any of the fireworks Florence Henderson promised during our interview. True, Tawny Kitaen was a bit of a control freak (heavy on the freak) while producing that Smash Mouth video. But in the end she brought the project in on time and under budget. So what if she scared Florence away by wearing a habit? (Although it's really sad that Tawny thought playing a sexy nun would be "avant-garde." How lame.) Steve Harwell begging Tawny to writhe around on the car was predic read more

Everybody Hates Chris A double...

Everybody Hates ChrisA double dose of Chris tonight, although both were repeats. But that's OK, the writing was strong enough to make me laugh the second time around. The bike episode reminded me that Rochelle is completely nuts. Why was she freaking out just because Julius cooked and cleaned better than she did? Honey, enjoy yourself! As a Jewish girl who orders in Chinese every night and has a maid, I would love it if my husband could take care of me like that. Rochelle also scared me with her business fashion. Those '80s shirts that tied at the collar, ewwww. Why did we ever burn bras? We should have just burned those blouses. (At least bras have a purpose.) There was a Do the Right Thing riot clip (yes, Gabe, as per your astute read more

Everybody Hates Chris A double...

Everybody Hates ChrisA double dose of Chris tonight, although both were repeats. But that's OK, the writing was strong enough to make me laugh the second time around. The bike episode reminded me that Rochelle is completely nuts. Why was she freaking out just because Julius cooked and cleaned better than she did? Honey, enjoy yourself! As a Jewish girl who orders in Chinese every night and has a maid, I would love it if my husband could take care of me like that. Rochelle also scared me with her business fashion. Those '80s shirts that tied at the collar, ewwww. Why did we ever burn bras? We should have just burned those blouses. (At least bras have a purpose.) There was a Do the Right Thing riot clip (yes, Gabe, as per your astute read more

Help me out here. I'm a big ...

Clockwise (from left): Isabel Sanford, Franklin Cover, Roxie Roker, Sherman Hemsley, The Jeffersons

Question: Help me out here. I'm a big fan of The Jeffersons and I always thought the first actor who played Lionel left because of a swelled head, then came back when his solo career didn't take off. But my brother insists it was so that his brother could take over. Who's right?


Answer: Why, you are, Brenda, assuming you mean Mike Evans, who played young Lionel Jefferson on All in the Family and then on its Jeffersons spin-off. He left because of an inflated sense of self rather than a bump on the noggin. However, it's probably nicer to say he suffered from the inexperience of youth rather than to tar him with the ego brush. Of course, the actor himself took it a step further in 1980 and told TV Guide he was dar read more

Today's column was written by Ben Katner.

LIFE GOES ON

Florence Henderson

VH1 has announced the has-beens who will be cohabitating in the sixth season of its megahit The Surreal Life. They are — and I swear I'm not joking — The Jeffersons' Sherman Hemsley, Whitesnake video vamp Tawny Kitaen, Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille, Playboy TV's Andrea Lowell, Smashmouth rocker Steve Harwell and Alexis Arquette, Rosanna, Patricia and David's cross-dressing sibling. Wait, it gets better: Florence Henderson will also be on hand as the roommates' official den mother. Charlene Tilton's application was rejected yet again. read more

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