At 98, Norman Lear exemplifies what Rethink Aging is all about. A combat veteran of World War II, he’s enjoyed a long career in TV and film, and as a philanthropist and political activist. He’s the creator and Emmy-winning producer of ground-breaking shows such as All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons and Good Times, which disrupted the rules of television entertainment by tackling issues such as race, abortion, inequality and working-class struggles.
Lear, who was among the first TV pioneers inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984, is still hitting line-drives out of the park. The reimagining of his 1975 show One Day at a Time (with co-developers Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce) featuring a Cuban-American family was a hit on Netflix for three seasons before moving to Pop TV. His Live in Front of a Studio Audience special broadcasts on ABC turned nostalgia on its head, and brought All in the Family, Good Times and The Jeffersons to new audiences.
Recently, Lear won the Carol Burnett Award at the 2021 Golden Globes for outstanding contributions to television. “I could not be more blessed,” he said in his acceptance remarks. “I am convinced that laughter adds time to one’s life.”
His work and attitude about life demonstrate that age is only a number, and people can remain positive and productive in their lives as they grow older. We hope to encourage more depictions of older adults doing just that.
Producer/Director John Hoffman on 'Grace and Frankie'