Norman Lear

Legendary sitcom writer and producer Norman Lear has died, aged 101.

The news was confirmed in a statement from his family where they explained that Lear died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles.

His family described Lear as “the greatest of gifts” and added: “thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honour of our wonderful husband, father, and grandfather.

“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.”

Lear was known for his groundbreaking sitcoms in the ’70s and ’80s, including Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons. He won five Emmys and was a member of the Television Academy Hall Of Fame.

Tributes to the writer have poured in today (December 6). George Clooney said in a statement: “It’s hard to reconcile that at 101 years old, Norman Lear is gone too soon. The entire world of reason just lost its greatest advocate and our family lost a dear friend. A giant walked in his shoes.”

While Jimmy Kimmel, who had worked recently with Lear, added: “It is obviously silly to want more time with a person who outlived a whole century but losing Norman Lear, even at 101 years old, feels unfair.

“His bravery, integrity and unmatched moral compass were equalled by his kindness, empathy, and wit.”

Avengers actor Mark Ruffalo described Lear as one of the “great Humanists who changed the world by being honest about the love, laughter, and troubles we all share”.

You can see some of the many tributes to Lear here:

Lear was born in 1922 and grew up in Connecticut. After the war (he served as part of army air forces based in Italy) he worked in PR initially before starting to work as a comedy writer. His first sitcom, All In The Family tackled controversial issues of the day and went on  for nine seasons, earning 22 Emmys across its run.

His show Good Times was the first show to regularly feature an African-American family on television while his new show The Jeffersons followed the success of an African-American couple in New York.

Sanford and Son was a re-working of UK hit show Steptoe and Son and was one of American’s top ten most watched programmes for five out of it six season run.

According to CBS, an estimated 120 million US citizens were watching his shows weekly at the height of his peak in the ’70s, when he had five sitcoms airing in prime time slots

During his career, Lear also produced a number of films.

This is a breaking news story – more to follow

The post US sitcom legend Norman Lear dies aged 101 appeared first on NME.


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