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She described him as "a very private person unlike George Jefferson. But he was very kind and very sweet, and generous to a fault."
Hemsley frequently turned up as a guest on sitcoms like "Family Matters," ‘‘The Hughleys" and even, in a voice role, "Family Guy." He twice reprised George Jefferson, appearing as his famous character on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and, in 2011, on "House of Payne."
Hemsley, whose films include 1979’s "Love at First Bite," 1987’s "Stewardess School" and 1987’s "Ghost Fever," released an album, "Ain’t That a Kick in the Head," in 1989.
In an interview with the Gloucester County Times in 2011, Hemsley said his show business career actually began in childhood.
"Making people laugh was automatic," he said. "I was in a play in elementary school and had to jump up and run away. I was nervous and tripped and fell down and everyone laughed. Their laughter made me relax, so I pretended it was part of the show."
"I always told my mother I wanted a job where I could have a lot of fun and have a lot of time off," Hemsley added. "She asked me where I was going to find that, and I said, ‘I don’t know, but it’s out there.’"
Coyle reported from New York City. AP Television Writers Lynn Elber and Frazier Moore in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Associated Press writer Terry Wallace in Dallas contributed to this report.
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