‘Jeffersons’ Actor Dies, 89

Ned Wertimer

Mike Barnes| The Hollywood Reporter

Ned Wertimer, a prolific character actor who was perhaps best known for playing Ralph the Doorman for 11 seasons on the CBS sitcom “The Jeffersons,” has died. He was 89.

Wertimer died Jan. 2 at the Sherman Village Health Care Center outside of Los Angeles from complications following a fall in his Burbank home in late November, his longtime manager, Brad Lemack, announced Tuesday.

Wertimer had more than 100 TV credits in his career as he guest-starred on such series as “Gunsmoke,” “McMillan and Wife,” “Car 54, Where Are You?,” “The Debbie Reynolds Show,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Mork & Mindy,” “He & She” and “Family Law.”

On film, he played stockbroker Fred Cates in Lucille Ball’s “Mame” (1974), and had roles in “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (1964), “The Impossible Years” (1968), “The Strongest Man in the World” (1975), “The Pack” (1977) and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (2007).

Wertimer’s character of money-hungry doorman Ralph Hart was introduced during a 1975 episode of “All in the Family,” titled “The Jeffersons Move on Up.” On the Norman Lear spinoff, Ralph was always looking for a tip from the increasingly annoyed tenants of the luxury high-rise Colby East building in Manhattan.

Wertimer appeared in 51 of the 253 episodes of “The Jeffersons,” which was one of the longest-running sitcoms in TV history.

Wertimer was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on Oct. 27, 1923. After serving as a pilot in World War II, he attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and received a degree in business administration.
[Read more on Ned Wertimer’s prolific career as a performer.]

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