DWTS 14 Week 4: Who’s George Jefferson?
On “Dancing with the Stars” season 4, during Rock Week, actor Jaleel White commented that he didn’t listen to rock and roll in his house so instead of channeling Mick Jagger for his tango to I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones, White had to channel George Jefferson.
George Jefferson was a character originally from the Norman Lear sitcom “All in the Family” from 1973 to 1975. That character was popular enough to get a spin-off series called “The Jeffersons” which ran from 1975 to 1985. George Jefferson was portrayed by Sherman Hemsley.
Hemsley who is now 74 was born and raised in Philadelphia. He was performing on Broadway in “Purlie” in 1971 when Lear asked him to play a role on Lear’s sitcom “All in the Family.” Hemsley didn’t want to leave his Broadway show, but Lear was willing to hold the role for him. Isabel Sanford (1917-2004) played his wife, Louise Jefferson. George Jefferson was a successful dry cleaner, starting the business after winning a settlement after his car was rear-ended by a bus. He and his wife, Louise leave the working class Queens neighborhood that Archie Bunker lived in where they were neighbors and move into an upscale Manhattan apartment.
George is prejudiced against his neighbors who are an interracial couple, Tom and Helen Willis (Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker). The Jeffersons have a maid, Florence (Marla Gibbs).
Harry Bentley was played by Paul Benedict. Zara Cully is Mother Jefferson.
During season 11 (1984) Jaleel White was a guest star on “The Jeffersons” playing a character called Van Van Morris in the episode “Ebony and Ivory.” A snobby socialite who beat Louise in the Volunteer of the Year award competition earlier is bragging how her grandson will win a piano competition. Louise is then determined to enter her granddaughter.
White was nominated for a Young Artist Award for his guest spot.