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Funeral held for actor Sherman Hemsley

Nov. 22, 2012 at 9:39 AM

EL PASO, Texas, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Television icon Sherman Hemsley, who died of lung cancer in July, has been buried in Texas after months of legal wrangling over his estate.

Hemsley, 74, served in the U.S. Air Force before finding fame as a cast member of the sitcom "All in the Family." He later starred in the TV shows "The Jeffersons" and "Amen."

His funeral was held up for months while his half-brother Richard Thornton fought his beneficiary, friend and business partner Flora Isela Enchinton Bernal in court over his estate. An El Paso probate judge ruled in Bernal's favor this month.

The El Paso (Texas) Times said about 200 people attended his Wednesday funeral at Cielo Vista Church and saw him buried at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery with full military honors.

"I know there are millions of fans who are saddened by his death," the Times quoted Chaplain Sam Faraone as saying during his eulogy. "As [characters] George Jefferson and Deacon Frye, he helped us laugh. He helped us forget the stresses of life, sit back and laugh."

"I'm happy that he got what he wanted and that he found peace," Bernal said. "His body might be here, but spiritually, he is everywhere. He loved everyone."

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