Is Zara Cully Living or Dead?

Has actress Zara Cully died? Or is she still alive?

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Zara Cully is ...

Born 26 Jan 1892 in Worcester
Died 28 Feb 1978 in Los Angeles
Age86 years, 1 month
Causelung cancer
Zara Cully
Zara Cully
Photo of Sherman Hemsley (George Jefferson), Isabel Sanford (Louise Jefferson) and Zara Cully (George's mother, Mother Jefferson) from the television program The Jeffersons.

About Zara Cully

Zara Frances Cully (January 26, 1892 – February 28, 1978) was an American actress. Cully was best known for her role as Olivia "Mother Jefferson" Jefferson on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons, which she portrayed from the series beginning in 1975 until her death in 1978.


Cully died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on February 28, 1978 from lung cancer, aged 86. Services were held on March 2, 1978 at the Church of Christian Fellowship, in Los Angeles. She was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) in the Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Victory. In attendance were the cast and crew of The Jeffersons, including show producer Norman Lear. She was survived by a brother, Wendell Cully; two surviving children: Mrs. Mary Gale "Polly" Buggs (wife of John A. Buggs, then-Deputy Director of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, 1917-2005) and Emerson T. Brown, (1925-1980), as well as four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, James M. Brown, Jr., (1888-1968), and two children, James M. Brown III, (1915-1972), and a baby daughter (who died in 1919). She was posthumously awarded an NAACP special Image Award on June 9, 1978, at the 11th Annual NAACP Award ceremony.