Ned Wertimer

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Ned Wertimer
File:Ned Wertimer.jpg
Wertimer as Ralph Hart on The Jeffersons
Born (1923-10-27)October 27, 1923
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Died January 2, 2013(2013-01-02) (aged 89)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Complications from fall
Nationality American
Education Bachelor of Business Administration
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business
Occupation Actor
Years active 1950–2007
Known for Ralph Hart, the doorman on The Jeffersons
Spouse(s) Dr. Skyne Uku-Wertimer (1971-2013, his death)

Ned Wertimer (October 27, 1923 – January 2, 2013) was an American actor. He was best known for his role as Ralph Hart, the doorman on the sitcom The Jeffersons, one of the longest-running sitcoms in American television history.[1]

Life and career

Early years

Wertimer was born on October 27, 1923 in Buffalo, New York.[1] He served as a Navy pilot in World War II,[2] and later received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. While at the school, he became a member of its "Mask and Wig Club," an all-male comedy and musical troupe.[1]

Theater, television, and film

After graduating college, Wertimer went to New York City to perform Broadway theatre in such shows as Texas Li'l Darlin', a 1949 musical by Robert E. Dolan and Johnny Mercer; 1950's The Live Wire by Garson Kanin; 1950's The Disenchanted, by Budd Schulberg, with Jason Robards; and 1963's All in Good Time by Bill Naughton. He also began performing in small roles in television, a new medium at the time. He was able to show his improvisational skills as a regular guest on The Shari Lewis Show.[1]

In the mid-1960s, Wertimer moved to Los Angeles to continue his burgeoning television career. He had over 100 guest-star credits on such shows as Gunsmoke, McMillan & Wife, Car 54, Where Are You?, The Debbie Reynolds Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, A Touch of Grace, WKRP in Cincinnati, Mork & Mindy, He & She and Family Law. He also appeared in such films as Mame, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, The Impossible Years, Pinocchio, The Strongest Man in the World, The Pack and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[1]

He became a longtime member of the performers' trade unions SAG and AFTRA, which merged in 2012.[1]

The Jeffersons

Wertimer appeared as doorman Ralph Hart in a 1975 All in the Family episode titled "The Jeffersons Move on Up," which was the pilot for the spin-off series The Jeffersons. The Hart character carried over and Wertimer appeared as the doorman who always sought a gratuity for his services in 57 of the 253 episodes.[1]

Personal life and death

Wertimer loved traveling around the world, from riding a camel in Egypt to riding an elephant in Thailand to swimming in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.[3] In addition to his performers' union work, Wertimer was also a voting member for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Emmy Awards. Soon after moving to California in the mid-1960s, he met and married Dr. Skyne Uku, professor emeritus at California State University, Long Beach.[3]

According to Wertimer's manager, he had fallen at his home in Burbank, California in November 2012. He never recovered from it and died on January 2, 2013, at the Sherman Village Health Care Center in Los Angeles. He was 89 years old.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Barnes, Mike (January 8, 2013). "Character Actor Ned Wertimer Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Ned Wertimer, Doorman on 'Jeffersons,' Dies at 89". ABC News. Associated Press. January 9, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Jeffersons Co-Star Ned Wertimer Passes Away at Age 89". January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links