‘Weezy’ Actress Had A Clever Real Life Side Hustle That Many Applauded Her For

Posted On : April 19, 2017

Actress, Isabel Sanford a.k.a. “Weezy” from “The Jeffersons” had a side hustle that she started after becoming a big time TV superstar on and let’s just say, she was determined to keep her “piece of the Pi-i-ie” (I couldn’t resist singing that one). Scroll down to peep “Weezy’s” business savvy…

Sherman Hemsley And Isabel Sanford Portrait
LOS ANGELES – CIRCA 1980: Actors Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford pose for a portrait circa 1980 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Isabelle Sanford’s Side Hustle Was Highly Inspired By “The Jeffersons”

After The Jeffersons became a huge success, Isabel Sanford moved on up to her very own $200,000.00 Los Angeles condo “in the sky.” Then she capitalized off of her TV fame, by opening up the exact same type of business that earned “Weezy” and “George Jefferson” that high rise Manhattan, N.Y. condo and plush lifestyle on the show. Isabel Sanford owned a dry-cleaning business. And get this – the name of it was “Weezy’s!” Smart move, right? Isabel’s marketing skills and business sense were on point.

Her Family Owned Operation

Her son, Sanford K. Sanford, ran “Weezy’s Dry Cleaning,” while his mother sat back, invested and collected those checks. Word on the Old School curb is that business was booming for Sanford and her family back then…Cha-ching!

The Jeffersons
LOS ANGELES – CIRCA 1977: The cast of the TV sitcom ‘The Jeffersons’ (L-R Berlinda Tolbert, Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford, Franklin Cover, Roxie Roker and Marla Gibbs (seated)) circa 1977 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

More Facts Many Didn’t Know About Isabel Sanford:

1. She had a rough marriage- her husband, William Edward “Sonny” Richmond, at a young age and they had a really rocky relationship and separated soon after their three children were born. Here’s what was reported in an interview she did with People:

Marriage to a house painter shortly after high school graduation resulted in three children in quick succession, Pamela, Eric and Sanford—”I felt like an assembly line”—and a separation after only a few years. “The children didn’t miss him much, and I just let it go at that,” she shrugs. “He was weak and I was an ambitious young woman.” She proved it by acting at night in church groups while working as a $49-a-week keypunch operator at a welfare office.

After leaving her husband in New York and moving to Cali with her three kids, her husband William Edward “Sonny” Richmond, passed away after he was involved in an altercation with someone.

2. She’s the only one of her siblings to survive–  Isabel Sanford was the only one of her parents’- James Edward and Josephine Sanford- 7 children to actually survive past infancy. She was the last born and her other siblings reportedly were not healthy enough to make it. So sad.

Isabel Sanford Honored With a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Her Achievements in Television
Isabel Sanford Honored With a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)

3. Isabel’s mother did not want her to become an actress- Her mother was extremely religious and made her daughter go to church every Sunday and sometimes on weeknights. When Isabel was a teen, she told her Mom that she wanted to become an actress. However, her Mother was not having that, and forbade her to follow her dream because she believed that a career in entertainment was “the road to degradation,” according to “The Jeffersons” star. Isabel still followed her own mind, pursued her dream and got her start performing in local clubs…even working her way up to the Apollo Theater.

Disobeying Her Parent Paid Off

Usually parents know what’s best for their child, but we’re glad Isabel Sanford actually disobeyed her Mom’s rules that one time, or else we would’ve never known the loving Mother TV figure that we came to love as “Weezy.” We also would have never gotten to hear her yell in her signature raspy voice, “George!”

Isabel Sanford passed away on July 9, 2004 at the age of 87, after falling ill from a neck surgery she had a week prior. In the end, her life came full circle and it was well fulfilled. Job well done Ms. Sanford, continue to rest well.

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