But Hemsley embalmed body has yet to be put to rest—it still sits in a refrigeration unit in an El Paso funeral home while a judge rules on a challenge to his will by Richard Thornton, who claims to be Hemsley’s brother.
Hemsley, whom many believe was gay, named friend and former manager Flora Enchinton his sole beneficiary, entitling her to more than $50,000. Enchinton had at one point lived with Hemsley and his friend Kenny Johnston, but she says the actor never mentioned any living relatives.
“Some people come out of the woodwork — they think Sherman, they think money,” Enchinton said. “But the fact it that I did not know Sherman when he was in the limelight. I met them when [Hemsley and Johnston] came running from Los Angeles with not one penny, when there was nothing but struggle.”