In the early 1970s, Hemsley landed on the Broadway stage, where he was spotted by producer Norman Lear and soon cast in a recurring role as Archie Bunker's irascible neighbor George Jefferson on "All in the Family." The popularity of Hemsley's character led to the spinoff "The Jeffersons," which ran 10 years and garnered him an Emmy nod in 1984. Between TV gigs, he worked in films, including Love at First Bite (1979).
Hemsley effectively retired from the small screen in the mid-'90s but continued to make guest appearances on shows such as "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "The Hughleys." He died July 24, 2012.
A veritable time warp of famous faces -- including Sammy Davis Jr., Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, Sally Struthers, Scott Baio and Ringo Starr -- takes over this updated musical version of Lewis Carroll's famed children's story. Conceived by the legendary Irwin Allen ("Lost in Space") as a vehicle for 9-year-old child star Natalie Gregory, who stars as Alice, the program originally aired as a two-part made-for-television movie.