Ned Wertimer, who played the famously greedy doorman Ralph who regularly extorted George Jefferson for more money on “The Jeffersons,” died Jan. 2 at the Sherman Valley Health Care Center in California. He was 89 years old.
He had been suffering from multiple health problems, his manager Brad Lemack said.
Wertimer’s last role was in 2007’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” where he played a pirate extra.
However, Wertimer lived a most interesting life:
When the relatively new medium, television, had moved West to Los Angeles in the 1960s, Wertimer rolled with the tide.
Wertimer’s TV career began when he got a small part in the 1950 show “Rocky King, Detective.”
Meanwhile, he also worked in numerous stock and traveling companies while moving into the embryonic world of television. He became a regular on the 1950s children’s program “The Shari Lewis Show.
He worked regularly for the rest of his career, starting with character roles in classics like “Get Smart” and “Car 54, Where Are You?”
In addition to his iconic “Jeffersons” role, Wertimer appeared in “Ironside,” “Mayberry RFD,” “CC and Company,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Gunsmoke” and “That Girl.” He played two different characters in two seasons of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
He introduced Ralph the Doorman in a 1975 episode of “All in the Family,” then became a recurring player when “The Jeffersons” spun off into its own series. He appeared in 51 episodes over the show’s 12-year run.
In later years he also appeared in shows like “Sanford and Son,” “Happy Days,” “227,” “The Practice,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Mork and Mindy” and “Simon & Simon.”