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Ned Wertimer, ‘Jeffersons’ doorman, dies

Character actor appeared in 50 episodes of series

Ned Wertimer, a character actor best known for his role as Ralph the Doorman on “The Jeffersons,” died in Los Angeles on Jan. 2. He was 89.

Wertimer appeared as Ralph, the uniformed, mustachioed doorman, in the 1975 episode of “All in the Family” that served as the pilot for “The Jeffersons” and in some 50 episodes of the latter series from 1975-84.

The actor’s other sitcom credits included “Get Smart,” “That Girl,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Mayberry R.F.D.,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Sanford and Son,” “Happy Days,” “WKRP in Cincinnati” and “Mork and Mindy.” He guested on TV dramas included “Gunsmoke,” “Ironside,” “McMillan & Wife,” “Starsky and Hutch” and miniseries “How the West Was Won.” His final TV credit was a 2002 episode of “The Practice.”

Wertimer made his TV debut in the medium’s earliest days, appearing on an episode of “Rocky King, Detective” in 1950.

He made infrequent appearances on the bigscreen, including in the infamous 1964 clunker “Santa Claus vs. the Martians,” 1974 Lucille Ball starrer “Mame,” Kurt Russell vehicle “The Strongest Man in the World” and, in his final screen appearance, 2007’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”

Edward Wertimer was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and graduated from the U. of Pennsylvania. He was a pilot in the Navy during WWII and began his career in the theater, working as an assistant stage manager and actor. He appeared occasionally on Broadway and more frequently in touring and stock productions.

Survivors include his wife, Skyne.

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