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Friday, October 21, 2016

Star of “The Jeffersons” and Former Altadenan Sherman Hemsley Part of New Historical Society Exhibit

The late actor Sherman Hemsley, who as the preening George Jefferson was a star of the long-running TV sitcom “The Jeffersons,” joins 50 other current and former Altadenans in the new exhibit at the Altadena Historical Society.

“Mr. Hemsley isn’t the only person in our exhibit who causes visitors to exclaim in surprise,” said AHS President Jane Brackman, Ph.D. “Altadena has always attracted interesting and talented people.“

The exhibit will be open at 6:30 p.m. this coming Monday, October. 24, preceding the 7:30 p.m. illustrated program “The Health Seekers,” presented by local historian and author Michele Zack.

Zack also is included in the exhibit of famous and fascinating authors, actors, musicians, scientists and sports figures displayed in the Historical Society’s archives and in the lobby of the Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena.

The program and exhibit are free and open to the public, while tax-free donations are gratefully accepted, Brackman said.

Zack will speak on illness as a major factor in nineteenth and twentieth century immigration to Southern California. The author of histories of Altadena and Sierra Madre, Zack says that her research has shown “the importance of the illness legacy has been underestimated as an influence of how we think of Southern California today.”

Health seekers who suffered from tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases moved to California and other Western states in large numbers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, seeking respite from their illnesses in the West’s then-dry, unpolluted air.

Altadena was home to a number of “TB” sanitariums and small hospitals, as were other communities in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Historical Society’s museum and archives are open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and by appointment for groups and others at (626) 797-8016. The AHS website is, and its blog is

Founded in 1935, AHS is a non-profit organization that gathers, preserves and makes available information about the people, places and events that shaped the community.


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