Ned Wertimer Dies: ‘Jeffersons’ Doorman Passes Away At 89
Ned Wertimer died on January 2 at a nursing home in the Los Angeles area two months after suffering a debilitating fall.
Wertimer played several roles throughout his television acting career, however he was perhaps most well known for his role as the Ralph Hart, the uniformed doorman in The Jeffersons.
Wertimer, a native of Buffalo, New York, played several roles during his career after he retired from being a Navy pilot in World War II, according to USA Today.
Along with playing in The Jeffersons from 1975 to 1985, he also had roles in Mary Tyler Moore and Car 54 Where Are You?, as well as other shows from the early 1960s until the late 1980s.
Ned Wertimer’s character, Ralph Hart, displayed a large mustache and a money-hungry personality. He was introduced during All in the Family in 1975 on an episode called “The Jeffersons Move on Up.” All in the Family spawned The Jeffersons that year.
On the spinoff show, directed by Norman Lear, had Ralph continually looking for tips from the increasingly annoyed tenants. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Wertimer appeared on 51 of 253 episodes during The Jeffersons run — one of the longest-running sitcoms in television history.
Wertimer began his acting career through his school’s Mask and Wig Club, an all-male musical troupe that was founded in 1889. He soon moved on to Broadway before making his way to television. He eventually moved from Buffalo to Los Angeles to further his acting career.
Ned Wertimer’s death leaves behind his wife, Skyne, sister-in-law Eleanor, a niece, and three nephews. There will be no public memorial service. Wertimer’s fellow star on The Jeffersons, Sherman Hemsley, passed away in July.
Wertimer was involved in AFTRA and SAG’s union contract negotiations over the years and served as a dedicated, longtime member of the board of directors of the AFTRA SAG Federal Credit Union.
Survivors include his wife Skyne, professor emerita at California State University Long Beach; his sister-in-law Eleanor; and a niece and three nephews. Services will be private.