HomeCelebrityNorman Lear, Producer Who Revolutionalized TV, Dies At 101

    Norman Lear, Producer Who Revolutionalized TV, Dies At 101

    Writer-producer-developer and comedian Norman Lear died on Tuesday at the age of 101. His publicist confirmed on Wednesday that he passed away at his Los Angeles home of natural causes. Lear rose to fame after he majorly revolutionized American comedy with some daring early-70s sitcoms like ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Sanford and Son’.

    His publicist told the Variety that the family will soon host a private service for the late comedian in the coming days. “Thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honor of our wonderful husband, father, and grandfather,” Lear’s family said in a statement.

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    Nothing Was Taboo For Norman Lear’s Shows

    Norman Lear was 101 when he died. (Image: Getty)

    Norman lived a life of creativity, tenacity, and empathy. He deeply loved our country and spent a lifetime helping to preserve its founding ideals of justice and equality for all. Knowing and loving him has been the greatest of gifts. We ask for your understanding as we mourn privately in celebration of this remarkable human being,” the statement added.

    Lear emerged as a top comedy writer in the early days of his career. He bagged an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for ‘Divorce American Style’ in 1968. Immediately after, he proposed the idea for a new sitcom ‘All in the Family’.

    The show’s idea was based on a popular British show that portrayed a conservative, outspokenly bigoted working-class man and his Queens family. ‘All in the Family’ became an instant hit, as it resonated with viewers of all political persuasions.

    Lear’s shows were the first of the time that tried to address some serious political, cultural, and social issues with a hint of satire. The issues he addressed through his shows included racism, abortion, homosexuality, and the Vietnam War among others.

    For Lear, no subject was a taboo. In a 1977 episode of ‘All in the Family’, he portrayed the attempted rape of lead character Archie Bunker’s wife Edith. This unprecedented openness turned Lear’s share into something that the viewers looked forward to watching. The show rose to huge success with a large number of ratings.

    The show ‘All in the Family’ got about six spin-offs. Whereas ‘Family’ was honored with four Emmys in 1971-73. In 1977, Lear was bestowed with the Peabody Award “for giving us comedy with a social conscience.” He got another Peabody in 2016 for his career achievements.

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    Norman Lear Was An All-Rounder

    Norman died o natural causes in his Los Angeles home, his family said. (Image: Los Angeles Times)

    Lear’s legacy did not just limit to sitcoms, it extended far beyond that. In the latter part of his career, the producer also ventured into meta-humor with shows like ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’ – a satire on daytime soaps. It also got a spinoff ‘Fernwood 2 Night’, which was a parody talk show.

    On the big screen, Lear’s writing and directing piece ‘Cold Turkey’ also made it big. It was based on comedy about the tobacco industry.

    Like a legend, Lear was not just a creative mind – he also had business on mind and he aced it. He co-owned the Avco Embassy Pictures. He also tried and got into the music industry as he purchased the Concord Music Group in 1999. His progressive approach towards art led to the founding of People for the American Way in 1981.

    Lear was bestowed upon with several accolades. With the National Medal of Arts that he was awarded in 1999, Lear’s influence on the entertainment industry became significant as he tried his hand at different things. His charisma complemented his passion and courage for bringing up social justice and sharp humor together on screen. It gradually led to his rise as a cultural icon in the industry.

    His death is being largely mourned as the demise of a man with a great mind and a courageous heart. Though Hollywood is now left with a void of his shape, his legacy of laughter and fearless creativity will continue to inspire generations to come.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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