He began his career on the stage, appearing in
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and "Henry IV," and later in
numerous Broadway productions, including "Any
Wednesday," "Wild Honey and "Born Yesterday."

But Cover was best known for his role as Tom Willis, who
was in an interracial marriage with a black woman, in "The
Jeffersons."

He and his wife lived in the same "deluxe apartment
building" that Sherman Hemsley moved his family to after
making money in the dry-cleaning business. There, Cover
often played a comic foil to Hemsley's blustering,
opinionated black businessman. The show ran from 1975
to 1985.

Cover also appeared in several films, including "The Great
Gatsby," "The Stepford Wives" and "Wall Street."

He is survived by his widow, Mary, a son and a daughter.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.
Actor Who Played 'Jeffersons' Neighbor Dies
Franklin Cover, Actor Who Played White Neighbor on 'The Jeffersons'
TV Series, Dies at 77
Los Angeles, Feb 10, 2006 (AP) — Franklin Cover,
who became a familiar face as George and Louise
Jefferson's white neighbor in the long-running TV
sitcom "The Jeffersons," has died, his publicist said
Thursday. He was 77.

Cover died of pneumonia Sunday at the Lillian Booth
Actor's Fund of America home in Englewood, N.J.,
said publicist Dale Olson. He had been living at the
home since December 2005 while recuperating from
a heart condition.

In his nearly six decades in show business, Cover
made numerous appearances on television shows,
including "The Jackie Gleason Show," "All in the
Family," "Who's the Boss?" "Will & Grace," "Living
Single," "Mad About You" and "ER."
Tom Willis - Actor