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Live in Front of a Studio Audience — The Jeffersons Live cast 2019: Who played who?

The Jeffersons Live cast on ABC
Normal Lear’s The Jeffersons revival on ABC. Pic credit: ABC

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons, which aired on Wednesday on ABC, is a special 90-minute one-night revival of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom broadcast on CBS from January 1975 to July 1985.

The Jeffersons is a spin-off of Lear’s All in the Family which aired on the same network from January 1971 to April 1979.

ABC’s live recreation of The Jeffersons Episode A Friend in Need was hosted by Lear and Jimmy Kimmel.

Who played who on The Jeffersons Live cast?

The Jeffersons Live cast was executive produced by Lear, Kimmel, Brent Miller, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Justin Theroux. The show, directed by James Burrows (Will & Grace, The Neighborhood), featured an all-star cast:

Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson

Jamie Foxx’s film credits include Django Unchained (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).

The role of George Jefferson was originally played by Sherman Hemsley, who was nominated for an Emmy Award (1984) and a Golden Globe Award (1985) for his role in the sitcom series. Hemsley died in July 2012.  His character George Jefferson was the former neighbor of All in the Family’s Archie Bunker. The role of Archie Bunker was played in the original series by Carroll O’Connor and in Wednesday’s special revival by Woody Harrelson.

Jamie Foxx is known for his roles in Django Unchained and The Amazing Spiderman.

Wanda Sykes as Louise Jefferson

Wanda Sykes’ film credits include Monster-in-Law (2005), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), Evan Almighty (2007), and License to Wed (2007).

The role of Louise “Weezie” Jefferson was originally played by Isabel Sanford. Sanford received multiple Emmy nominations and won one award for her role in The Jeffersons.

Justina Machado as Florence Johnston

Justina Machado is known for her role as Penelope in Netflix’s One Day at a Time. She also appeared as Darci on The CW’s Jane the Virgin, Vanessa in HBO’s Six Feet Under, and Brenda in  Queen of the South.

Marla Gibbs played Florence Johnston in the original series. Gibbs made a surprise cameo in Monday’s live special.

Will Ferrell as Tom Willis

Will Ferrell is known for his role as Ron Burgundy in the Anchorman film series (2004, 2013). He also starred in Step Brothers (2008) and The Other Guys (2010).

The character of Tom Willis was originally played by Franklin Cover.

Kerry Washington  as Helen Willis

Kerry Washington is best known for playing  Broomhilda von Shaft in Django Unchained (2012) and Anita Hill in  HBO’s Confirmation (2016).

The role of Helen Willis was originally played by Roxie Roker. Helen and Tom Willis are considered to be the first interracial couple on a U.S. primetime show.

Jovan Adepo  as Lionel Jefferson

Jovan Adepo is best known for his role as  Michael Murphy in HBO’s The Leftovers.

Lionel Jefferson is George and Louise’s son. The role of Lionel was originally played by Mike Evans who left after the first season. Damon Evans played the role for about two seasons before Mike Evans returned.

Amber Stevens West as Jenny Willis

Amber Stevens  West’s film credits include ABC’s Greek and 22 Jump Street. She played Maxine in NBC’s sitcom The Carmichael Show. The role of  Jenny Willis, Helen and Tom’s daughter, was originally played by Belinda Torbert.

Stephen Tobolowsky as Harry Bentley

Stephen Tobolowsky played the insurance agent Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day (1993). He also appeared as Sammy in Memento (2000), and as Commissioner Hugo Jarry in HBO’s Deadwood. He also played Stu Beggs in Showtime’s Californication.


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