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Sherman Hemsley appears in a promotional photo from the 1970s series The Jeffersons. - Provided courtesy of CBS / Landov

Sherman Hemsley's burial still reportedly delayed due to legal dispute

10/29/2012 by OnTheRedCarpet.com Staff

Despite his death in July, comedian Sherman Hemsley has still not been laid to rest due to a legal dispute over his will.

A worker at the San Jose Funeral Home in El Paso, Texas reportedly told Fox News that Hemsley's body was still at the home. The worker added that they were waiting for the court to tell them what to do with the body.

In August it was initially reported that Hemsley had not been buried because Hemsely's will has been called into dispute. In the will, which was signed six weeks before his death, Hemsley named "beloved partner" Flora Enchinton, 56, as the sole beneficiary of his estate, which is estimated to be worth over $50,000.

Richard Thornton of Philadelphia, who claims to be Hemsley's brother and said that the will might not have been made by the actor, who had no wife or children.

Enchinton told the Associated Press that she has been Hemsley's friend and manager for over 20 years, during which time she lived with the actor and his friend Kenny Johnston, 76. Enchinton said that Hemsley never mentioned any relatives.

A probate judge delayed the trial of Hemsley's estate and remains on September 24, according to Fox News. The trial was rescheduled to October 31 and the judge ordered Thornton to undergo a DNA test.

Hemsley died on July 24. On August 8, the El Paso County medical examiner's office reported that Hemsley's death was caused by a cancerous tumor obstructing a large vein.

Hemsley, who is originally from Philadelphia, made his on-screen debut in "All In The Family" in 1973. The show ended its run in 1978, but he played his character, the abrasive George Jefferson, in a spin-off - "The Jeffersons," which aired until 1985. Isabel Sanford, who played his on-screen wife Louise "Weezy" Jefferson, died in 2004 at age 86.

Hemsley also had roles in shows such as "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, "Amen," "Family Matters" and "Sister, Sister." He also provided the voice of mean boss B.P. Richfield in the 1990s life-size puppet sitcom "The Dinosaurs." The actor's last on-screen role was in a 2011 episode of the comedy series "House of Payne."

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