Television legend Norman Lear, the writer-producer who revolutionized American comedy in the early-‘70s, has died at the age of 101.
A spokesperson for the family confirmed to The New York Times that Lear died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles, with his publicist telling Variety that Lear died of natural causes. The family’s statement read in part: “Thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honor 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. 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.”
Lear started his career in film and television in the 1950s, with his earlier work including the TV series The Deputy and the 1967 film Divorce American Style. It was Lear’s revolutionary series of the 1970s, “All in the Family” that became a breakout, immediate hit. The show – about a conservative, outspokenly bigoted working-class man and his Queens, NY family — addressed the serious political, cultural and social issues of the ’70s – racism, abortion, homosexuality, and the Vietnam war — with no subject off limits. Lear also created and produced such groundbreaking series such as Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons and Good Times, which all premiered in the 1970s. In recent years, Lear produced Netflix reboots of his series One Day at a Time and Good Times.
Lear is survived by his third wife Lyn Davis, six children and four grandchildren. Lear’s publicists said that a private service for his immediate family will be held in the coming days.
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