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  • Date of birth : 29/08/1917
  • Date of death : 09/07/2004



  • Sanford Isabel


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Isabel Sanford (1917)

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Isabel Sanford (August 29, 1917 – July 9, 2004) was an American actress best known for her role as Louise "Weezy" Jefferson on the CBS television sitcoms All in the Family (1971–1975) and The Jeffersons (1975–1985).


Sanford was born in New York City, New York, to parents James Edward Sanford and the former Josephine Perry. She was the first African-American actress to win a Lead Actress Emmy Award , and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and received an honorary doctorate degree from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

During the 1960s, Sanford worked in the theatre industry, and in 1967 she made her film debut in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, playing the critically acclaimed role of the maid Tillie Binks. She caught the attention of major Hollywood players, including Norman Lear, who cast Sanford in the role of Louise Jefferson in All in the Family. She almost turned down the role after receiving a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken in her dressing room. Norman Lear assured her that it was a genuine gift, and that he sent everyone a congratulatory bucket of KFC; she eventually agreed to play the part. Sanford and her TV husband, Sherman Hemsley, were so popular that The Jeffersons was spun off into its own series.

After production of The Jeffersons ended in 1985, Sanford realized that she and Hemsley were typecast by their Jeffersons' roles. So Sanford made the most of it, appearing with Hemsley in a series of advertisements for Denny's and Old Navy, and starring with Hemsley in a touring company of "The Real Live Jeffersons" stage show in the mid-1990s. She and Hemsley also made cameo appearances in films such as Sprung and Mafia! Other than those opportunities with Hemsley, Sanford was mostly limited to guest TV appearances and cameo appearances in movies, appearing in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Dream On, Roseanne, Living Single, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, In the House and The Steve Harvey Show, as well as the extremely short-lived 1992 CBS Hearts Are Wild .

She also voiced characters on three other cartoon shows including Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Pepper Ann. In her final television television appearance, she voiced a character on The Simpsons.

Sanford spent most of her last years divided between her apartment in Los Angeles and her mansion in Atlanta, GA. Her mansion in Atlanta was once featured on Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous. Sanford had the mansion decorated in pink and white, exclaiming that she "only used the elevator to go upstairs and uses the grand staircase to come down to 'make an entrance'." The breakfast area of the kitchen featured the dinette table and chairs that had been used on the set of The Jeffersons. Sanford had added photos of the show's run underneath the table's glass top.

Less than six months before she died, Isabel Sanford received, for her contribution to the television industry, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard.

Sanford died on July 9, 2004, of cardiac arrest and heart disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. She was a month and a half away from her 87th birthday and was interred at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Isabel Sanford", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.