Many actors and fans are paying tribute to television legend Norman Lear, who died Tuesday night at 101 years old. Lear’s impact on TV comes through his sitcoms, including All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, Good Times, Diff’rent Strokes, Sanfofd and Son, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
Director Rob Reiner, who played Michael Stivic in All in the Family, said on X, “I loved Norman Lear with all my heart. He was my second father. Sending my love to Lyn and the whole Lear family.” Author David Simon, best known for his work on The Wire, said, “Anyone who ever had a chance to say something pointed or political in an American television entertainment owes Norman Lear their adoration and awe. He saw what was possible in that vacuous glowing box and, almost singularly, he made it so.”
Actor Anson Mount shared a touching tribute to Lear and his contributions. Mount wrote, “The term ‘Titan of His Industry’ is the only thing I can possibly think of to describe the influence Norman Lear had on scripted television throughout the world. Consistency, commitment; courage. A total badass.” One fan wrote on X, “LEGEND. Rest in peace Norman Lear. Thank you for all the classic TV I watched as kid. You’re responsible for some of my fondest memories with my grandparents.”
Ben Stiller, Jerry O’Connell Offer Tributes To Norman Lear
Actor Ben Stiller wrote, “What an incredibly influential & brilliant man. He was a champion for social justice. I feel fortunate to have grown up in the time his shows became the standard for comedy on television. Also he was so humble & generous. Respect. Rest in peace.” Jerry O’Connell, who was in Stand By Me, shared a little trivia about that movie and Lear’s involvement. He wrote, “True Story: Norman Lear funded the completion of Stand By Me. Rest In Peace King.”
Television writer Gennefer Gross wrote, “I grew up watching Norman Lear’s shows and every one of them made an impact on me. The godfather of the socially conscious sitcom, his work opened hearts and minds through humor and empathy. He is forever woven into the fabric of TV. Humanity is better off because he was here”.
Comedian Wanda Sykes wrote, “Farewell to the incomparable Norman Lear, a trailblazer who challenged norms and shifted the paradigm through the laughter and lessons you’ve shared. It was an honor to be a small part of your impact and to witness it in my lifetime. To a legacy and life well-lived, thank you…”
One fan wrote, “The world just had one of its brightest lights go out. RIP Norman Lear. You’ve been one of the soundtracks to my life, teaching me to laugh and cry since a child…you’ll be missed.”
Lear’s family indicated on Wednesday that there will be a private service for him at a later time.
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