Who was Norman Lear? What TV shows did the Hollywood writer create?
The legendary screenwriter and producer was involved in the creation of more than 100 shows and won six Emmys during his illustrious career.
Writer and producer Norman Lear has passed away at the age of 101, bringing to a close an incredible career spanning nine decades.
He won a number of prestigious individual awards, including six Emmys, a Golden Globe and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2017. The shows that he worked on won countless more. In 1984 he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame and was a passionate social activist. He co-founded People For the American Way and continued this work into old age.
Last year he penned an op-ed in the New York Times, saying: “I often feel disheartened by the direction that our politics, courts and culture are taking. But I do not lose faith in our country or its future. I remind myself how far we have come.”
What TV shows is Norman Lear famous for?
Lear was probably best known for his role in creating ‘All in the Family’, a ground-breaking CBS sitcom that ran for nine seasons. It was based on British show ‘Till Death Us Do Part’ and centred around the life of a working class family in Queens, New York.
‘All in the Family’ won 22 Emmy Awards and ran for 205 episodes, covering topics such as racism, antisemitism and homosexuality. In 2013 the shows was ranked as the fourth-best written TV series of all time by the Writers Guild of America.
Lear was most active during the 1970s and 1980s, when he was also involved in the creation and development of ‘Maude’, ‘Sanford and Son’, ‘One Day at a Time’, ‘The Jeffersons’, and ‘Good Times’.
‘Good Times’, which ran from 1974-1980, was the first television show to regularly feature an African-American family. ‘The Jeffersons’ began a year after the start of ‘Good Times’ and focused on an African-American couple in New York society.
Stars pay tribute to ‘the bravest of all time’
News of Lear’s passing was announced by his family in a statement that described knowing him as “the greatest of gifts”.
“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,” it read.
TV critic Alan Sepinwall called him “one of the greatest to ever do it” and paid tribute to Lear’s inventiveness and willingness to push boundaries.
Famed comedy star Mel Brooks described Lear “the bravest television writer, director and producer of all time.”