Sherman Hemsley, best known to a generation of TV watchers as George Jefferson on “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” died Tuesday. He was 74. The LA Times has a good obit, as does KABC (below). Neither, however, mention that Jefferson never married and has no children – a fact that prompted intense speculation in the LGBT community that the actor may have been gay, which had been long rumored. In 1999, Hemsley told USA Today that he was nothing like his famous character. “I don’t slam doors in people’s faces, and I’m not a bigot,” he said. “I’m just an old hippie. You know, peace and love.”
Hemsley’s death and that of astronaut Sally Ride overshadowed the death of another celebrity – actor Chad Everett, who also died Tuesday at age 75. The LA Times notes that Everett was a conservative Republican who so infuriated Lily Tomlin in 1972 by calling his wife “property” that Tomlin stormed off “The Dick Cavett Show” where they were both guests.