THE JEFFERSONS Co-Star Ned Wertimer Passes Away at Age 89
In 1961, he replaced Paul Lynde in the Tony Award winning Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie. Ned also worked in numerous national touring and stock productions of plays and musicals, including Brigadoon, Hat Full of Rain, Witness for the Prosecution, Man For All Seasons, Cyrano de Bergerac, Annie Get Your Gun, Bells are Ringing, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter and, much later, The Best of The Jeffersons, a recreation of three episodes from the television series starring its original cast.
Over the years, he made appearances in more than 100 television programs and series in both New York and Los Angeles, a list that grew to include The Debbie Reynolds Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Mork and Mindy, You Can't Take it With You, Mister Peepers, He & She, Gunsmoke, MacMillan and Wife, Family Law and, of course, The Jeffersons, to name a few.
In the mid-1960s, Ned moved to Los Angeles to continue his career in film and television. He soon met and married the love of his life, Dr. Skyne Uku.
In Los Angeles, his film credits grew to include The Pack, What's So Bad About Feeling Good, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Impossible Years, Chiller and as stockbroker Fred Cates to Lucille Balls' Mame.
Wertimer had a passion for travel, which enriched his life and became a part of his most memorable years. His worldwide adventures included riding a camel in Egypt, riding an elephant in Thailand and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Ned was active in social and political issues regarding civil rights He was very involved in AFTRA and SAG's union contract negotiations and was a dedicated, long time member of the board of directors of the AFTRA SAG Federal Credit Union. He was also a voting member for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Emmy Awards.
Ned also enjoyed sports, especially golf, and played in many celebrity gold tournaments for a variety of non-profit organizations.
Wertimer was preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Sidney Wertimer, Jr.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Skyne Uku-Wertimer, Professor Emerita at California State University Long Beach, and by his brother's wife, Mrs. Eleanor Walsh Wertimer, as well as one niece and three nephews. Across the pond, Ned also had in-laws on his wife's side in London, England and in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Services will be private.