Heartwarming Tributes are Rolling in After the News of Norman Lear’s Death at 101 Years Old

Producer Norman Lear attends The Tanning of America special screening at the Leonard Goldenson Theatre on June 3, 2014 in North Hollywood, California
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for VH1

Norman Lear was a titan in the television industry, having worked on over 100 television shows from All in the Family to The Jeffersons. Lear passed away at 101 years old and never truly slowed down, working well into his later years. As the news broke of his passing, celebrities and even networks who worked with Lear or were inspired by him began sharing sweet tributes, including Rob Reiner, who called Lear his second father.

Reiner’s father was iconic actor Carl Reiner, who passed away in 2020. Rob Reiner worked with Lear on All in the Family as Michael Stivic and wrote, “I loved Norman Lear with all my heart. He was my second father. Sending my love to Lyn and the whole Lear family.” Star of The Princess Bride, Carl Elwes, worked with both Reiner and Lear. He wrote, “I am heartbroken 💔 We’ve lost a titan who didn’t just change TV but changed my life forever with The Princess Bride. His sweetness, humor & intelligence will never be matched. Our deepest condolences to Lyn, his family & friends. Rest in power, Norman.”

CBS shared an official statement: “Norman Lear’s profound influence on television will never be forgotten. He was a creative icon whose comedic and courageous perspective on the America he loved had an immeasurable impact on our network, our viewers and television overall. His funny, realistic and fearless approach to storytelling rang true in his sharp writing and rich characters. He redefined the sitcom by introducing topics that had previously been avoided, including race, poverty and sexism. And he did it all with wit and heart, making it relatable to millions of Americans. Norman’s broad impact on our industry is surpassed only by his personal influence on the lives of the innumerable people he touched at every level of our business. He also remained a passionate advocate for equality and justice throughout his remarkable life. We extend our deepest condolences to Norman’s beloved family. His legacy will forever touch the medium we all love.”

Honorees Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner and producer Norman Lear attend the Carl and Rob Reiner Hand and Footprint Ceremony during the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival on April 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California

(Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner and producer Norman Lear) Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TCM

Nighttime talk show host Jon Stewart shared a sentiment that many others can relate to. He shared, “Goodnight Norman. Love you. Thanks for raising me.” Lear was responsible for so many sitcoms in each decade, that were not afraid to tackle controversial topics like racism, sexism, and abortion. Not only that, but his shows were full of heartwarming life lessons and just pure comedy.

Actor Yvette Nicole Brown wrote that while 101 years old is quite an accomplishment, it never seems long enough for someone like Lear. She said, “This is such sad news to wake up to. What a titan of this industry. And he was always so lovely when I got to spend time in his presence. I know 101 is a LONG life, but still…this one hurts.” Jeremy O. Harris also spoke about time spent with Lear and said, “You were always so kind and curious with new writers and it’s one of the great honors of my life to have gotten to know you even a bit. Your whole family was full of gems and that’s bc you were a crown jewel.” While Jane Lynch penned, “How lucky are we? How lucky are we to have crossed timelines with Norman Lear? How lucky am I to have grown up with All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Good Times, Maude and all the rest? #Blessed. Rest now, Norman.”

LOS ANGELES - JULY 27: ALL IN THE FAMILY episode: "Gloria Poses in the Nude". A off camera moment with cast. Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker, Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, show creator: Norman Lear, Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic, Sally Struthers as Gloria Bunker Stivic and Mike Evans as Lionel Jefferson. Original air date: September 25, 1971.

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Jane Fonda shared, “Today is a very sad day. Norman Lear, a man who meant a lot to many on a personal level and who changed the face and soul of American comedy, has passed. My heart is heavy. I loved Norman.” George Clooney, who starred in The Facts of Life, said, “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.”

Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick thanked him for “a lifetime of some of my favorite tv memories of all time… gathered in the family room surrounded by my family watching ‘All in the Family.’ Television at its finest.” William Shatner shared condolences to Lear’s family and said that he “contributed so much to American Television over the years,” while Albert Brooks tweeted, “The greatest of the greats. R.I.P. Norman Lear. You were loved.”

American television writer and producer Norman Lear is photographed July 12, 1987 in New York City.

Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

Lear’s family shared the news with a special tribute. They shared on social media, “It is with profound sadness and love that we announce the passing of Norman Lear, our beloved husband, father, and grandfather. Norman passed away peacefully on December 5, 2023, surrounded by family as we told stories and sang songs until the very end.”

The post continued, “Norman lived a life in awe of the world around him. He marveled at his cup of coffee every morning, the shape of the tree outside his window, and the sounds of beautiful music. But it was people – those he just met and those he knew for decades – who kept his mind and heart forever young. As we celebrate his legacy and reflect on the next chapter of life without him, we would like to thank everyone for all the love and support.”

Tell us, what is your favorite Norman Lear show?

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