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      Norman Lear

      Norman Lear

      Highest Rated: 100% Divorce American Style (1967)

      Lowest Rated: 60% Cold Turkey (1971)

      Birthday: Jul 27, 1922

      Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, USA

      Norman Lear was an American TV writer, producer, film director and political activist who was best known for producing some of the most popular television shows of the 1970s, including "Sanford and Son" (NBC, 1972-77), "The Jeffersons" (CBS, 1975-1985), "Good Times" (CBS, 1974-79) and most notably, "All in the Family" (CBS, 1971-79). Born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, Lear never planned on having a career in Hollywood. He attended Emerson College in Boston, but left to join the United States Air Force at the outbreak of World War II. Lear was a radio operator/gunner during the war, and flew 52 combat missions. When the war ended, Lear returned to the states and began a career in public relations. He later found himself in Los Angeles, where he met a young aspiring comedy writer named Ed Simmons. Excited by the idea of writing comedy for the new medium of television, Lear teamed up with Simmons and together the two wrote television comedy sketches and jokes for some of the most notable comedians of the 1950s, including Rowan and Martin and Martin and Lewis, as well as a variety of other 50s comedy shows. By the 1960s Lear had decided to branch out on his own to try his hand at film writing and directing. He wrote the screenplay to the 1967 comedy, "Divorce American Style," which earned him an Oscar nomination, and followed that up by directing the films "Justice for All" (1968) and "Cold Turkey" (1971). Then in 1971 Lear produced a show about a working class family in Queens, New York called "All in the Family." Although not an immediate hit, "All in the Family," which was groundbreaking for its time for boldly tackling such hotbed cultural and political topics as racism, abortion and the Vietnam War, eventually found its audience, and quickly became one of the most popular shows on television. With the success of "All in the Family," several other Lear-produced shows followed, including "The Jeffersons," "Sanford and Son," "Good Times," and "Maude" (CBS, 1972-78). By the 1980s Lear had turned his attention to the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way, which he also founded. He attempted to return to TV producing in the 1990s with the shows "Sunday Dinner" (CBS, 1991) and "704 Hauser" (CBS, 1994), but both shows failed to catch on with the public. In the ensuing years Lear's immense contributions to television began earning him a multitude of honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Woody Guthrie Prize, and the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2017, when he was well into his 90s, Lear had somewhat of a late-career comeback when Netflix rebooted his series "One Day at a Time" (Netflix, 2017- ). The reboot, which starred an ensemble cast that included Justin Machado and Rita Moreno, premiered on the streaming service in January of 2017. After three seasons, Netflix canceled the series in March of 2019. Norman Lear died on December 5, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA at the age of 101.

      Photos

      Norman Lear at arrivals for 46th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute, Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, CA June 7, 2018. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection Norman Lear at arrivals for 29th Annual Producers Guild Awards (PGAs), The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA January 20, 2018. Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection Norman Lear at arrivals for 30th Annual Scleroderma Benefit, Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA June 16, 2017. Photo By: Priscilla Grant DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE, Emmeline Henry, screenwriter Norman Lear, Debbie Reynolds, on-set, 1967 IF YOU'RE NOT IN THE OBIT, EAT BREAKFAST, L-R: MEL BROOKS, NORMAN LEAR, CARL REINER, 2017. ©HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS Star Talk, Norman Lear, 04/20/2015, ©NATGEOC NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU, Norman Lear, 2016. ph: Ronan Killeen NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU, Norman Lear, 2016. ph: Omar Mullick NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU, Norman Lear, 2016. ph: Omar Mullick Star Talk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson (L), Norman Lear (R), 04/20/2015, ©NATGEO Star Talk, Norman Lear, 04/20/2015, ©NATGEO

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      100% 40% I Got a Monster Executive Producer - 2023
      97% 90% "Sr." Self - 2022
      80% 90% Gratitude Revealed Self - 2022
      94% 84% Lucy and Desi Self - 2022
      No Score Yet 88% The Super Bob Einstein Movie Self - 2021
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes Executive Producer - 2021
      96% 93% Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It Self,
      Executive Producer
      $263.2K 2021
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Find Your Groove Self - 2020
      80% No Score Yet Live in Front of a Studio Audience: 'All in the Family' and 'Good Times' Executive Producer - 2019
      100% 100% Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me Self - 2017
      86% 67% Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You Self $70.1K 2016
      No Score Yet 71% El Superstar: The Unlikely Rise of Juan Frances Executive Producer $2.3K 2008
      No Score Yet 53% The Brothers Warner Unknown (Character) - 2008
      95% 92% Pete Seeger: The Power of Song Executive Producer $175.1K 2007
      76% 87% Fried Green Tomatoes Executive Producer $81.2M 1991
      96% 94% The Princess Bride Executive Producer $26.9M 1987
      60% 65% Cold Turkey Director - 1971
      67% 44% The Night They Raided Minsky's Screenwriter,
      Producer
      - 1968
      100% 57% Divorce American Style Producer - 1967
      No Score Yet 64% Never Too Late Producer - 1965
      71% 72% Scared Stiff Writer - 1953

      TV

      Credit
      No Score Yet 61% Late Night With Seth Meyers Guest 2021
      99% 89% One Day at a Time Executive Producer 2017-2020
      No Score Yet 62% The Kelly Clarkson Show Guest 2020
      No Score Yet No Score Yet To Tell the Truth Guest 2019
      No Score Yet No Score Yet To Dine For With Kate Sullivan Guest 2018
      85% 76% The Simpsons Self (Guest Voice) 2017
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The History of Comedy Self 2017
      No Score Yet No Score Yet America Divided Correspondent 2016
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Tavis Smiley Guest 2014 2016
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Finding Your Roots Guest 2016
      100% 29% The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore Guest 2015
      No Score Yet 64% StarTalk Guest 2015
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dr. Oz Show Guest 2014
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Guest 2014
      No Score Yet 10% The View Guest 2014
      100% 90% Late Show With David Letterman Guest 2014
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Larry King Now Guest 2014
      88% No Score Yet Jack & Bobby Unknown (Guest Star) 2005
      80% 87% South Park Benjamin Franklin (Guest Voice) 2003
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Sunday Dinner Producer,
      Writer
      1991
      No Score Yet No Score Yet a.k.a. Pablo Executive Producer 1984
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Palmerstown Creator 1981
      No Score Yet 88% All in the Family Writer,
      Executive Producer
      1971-1979
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Maude Executive Producer 1972-1978
      No Score Yet 58% Saturday Night Live Host 1976