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In this Aug. 11, 1986 file photo, actor Sherman Hemsley poses for a photo in Los Angeles. Hemsley, the actor who made the irascible, bigoted George Jefferson of "The Jeffersons" one of television's most memorable characters and a symbol for urban upward mobility, was found dead Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at his El Paso, Texas home. He was 74. (AP photo/Nick Ut, File)

Television legend Sherman Hemsley Dead at 71

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EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- George Jefferson was a bigot. A loudmouth. Rude. Obsessed with money. Arrogant. And yet he was one of the most enjoyable, beloved characters in television history.

Much of that credit belongs to Sherman Hemsley, the gifted character actor who gave life to the blustering black Harlem businessman on "The Jeffersons," one of TV's longest running and most successful sitcoms - particularly noteworthy with its mostly black cast.

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