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OTRC: Ned Wertimer of 'The Jeffersons' dies at age 89

Ned Wertimer (top right) appears in a cast publicity photo for 'The Jeffersons.' / Ned Wertimer appears in an undated publicity photo. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Lemack and Company Talent Management)

Ned Wertimer, who played Ralph Hart the doorman on all 11 seasons of the comedy series "The Jeffersons" in the 1970s and 1980s, has died at age 89.

The retired actor passed away on January 2 at Sherman Village Health Care Center, outside of Los Angeles, from complications he suffered following a fall in his Burbank home in late November, his manager said in a statement obtained by OTRC.com on Tuesday.

Wetimer, was born in Buffalo, New York on October 27, 1923 and served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy in 1944 during World War II. He later attended the University of Pennsylvania, joined the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. During his time at college, he participated in an all-male musical troupe and in school plays.

He moved to New York after graduation and acted in several Broadway shows, such as "Texas L'il Darlin,'" and "Bye Bye Birdie," and on TV programs such as "The Shari Lewis Show," a popular children's puppet series. He later moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and met the woman who would become his wife -- Dr. Skyne Uku.

"Wertimer was preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Sidney Wertimer, Jr. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Skyne Uku-Wertimer, Professor Emerita at California State University Long Beach, and by his brother's wife, Mrs. Eleanor Walsh Wertimer, as well as one niece and three nephews," his manager said. "Across the pond, Ned also had in-laws on his wife's side in London, England and in Port Harcourt, Nigeria."

He added that Wertimer: had a passion for travel, which enriched his life and became a part of his most memorable years. His worldwide adventures included riding a camel in Egypt, riding an elephant in Thailand and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia."

"The Jeffersons" aired between 1975 and 1985. Sherman Hemsley, who played the main character, the abrasive George Jefferson, died in 2012 at age 74. Isabel Sanford, who played his wife Louise "Weezy" Jefferson, died in 2004 at age 86.

In addition to "The Jeffersons," Wertimer has appeared on shows such as "Mork & Mindy," "Happy Days," "Starsky and Hutch" and in 2007, he starred on an episode of "The Practice." That year, he also played a pirate in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

Wertimer has also appeared in films such as The Pack" in 1977, "Mame" in 1974, "Bad Company" in 1972 and "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" in 1964.

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