EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The embalmed body of actor Sherman Hemsley, who became famous for his role as television's George Jefferson, will be kept in refrigeration at an El Paso funeral home until a local court rules on the validity of his will.
In the will Hemsley signed six weeks before dying of lung cancer July 24 he named Flora Enchinton, 56, whom he called a "beloved partner," as sole beneficiary of his estate, which is estimated in court documents to be more than $50,000.
The will is being contested by Richard Thornton, of Philadelphia, who claims to be Hemsley's brother and says the will might not have been made by the actor.
Enchinton told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she had been friends with Hemsley and had been his manager for more than 20 years. Over the time she, Hemsley and Hemsley's friend Kenny Johnston, 76, lived together, she said he never mentioned any relatives.
"Some people come out of the woodwork — they think Sherman, they think money," Enchinton said. "But the fact it that I did not know Sherman when he was in the limelight. I met them when they (Hemsley and Johnston) came running from Los Angeles with not one penny, when there was nothing but struggle."
Mark Davis, listed in court documents as Thornton's lawyer in El Paso, did not immediately respond to messages left at his office.
There is no date set for the case to be heard, court officials said. Enchinton said she hopes it will all be cleared in court.
The Philadelphia-born Hemsley played Jefferson in the CBS sitcom "All in the Family," then starred in the spinoff "The Jeffersons" from 1975 to 1985. It was one of TV's longest-running and most successful sitcoms, particularly noteworthy for its predominantly black cast.
Hemsley made George Jefferson — the bigoted, blustering Harlem businessman — one of TV's most memorable characters and a symbol for urban upward mobility.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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