Thursday, June 20, 2024

Norman Lear Celebrates Turning 100, Advises “Live in the moment…treasure it, use it, with love”


Norman Lear turns 100 today. He’s got all his marbles and then some. Happy birthday, Norman. To celebrate, his daughter, Kate, has recorded a birthday message from Norman and posted to Instagram. It’s below.

Few in the history of the arts in this country have matched Norman Lear’s accomplishments. I mean not just the TV shows like “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “Good Times.” “The Jeffersons.” But also his commitment to political liberalism, the creation of People for the American Way, his unending interest in making the world a better place.

Seven or eight years ago, I left a lunch at the 21 Club with producer Fred Zollo and we ran across Sixth Avenue to the theater district. Fred peeled off, and I was left standing in front of the Shubert Theater, out of breath, heading to a matinee. And who was standing there, unaccompanied, waiting for his wife? Norman Lear, Maybe he was 93. I was taken aback. “Norman?” I said. We shook hands. I was so impressed that there he was, no one noticed that one of the most important people in the history of entertainment was just idling in Shubert Alley. At 93. And now he’s 100 and seems no different.

In 2019, Norman turned up at a cocktail party for songwriter Diane Warren at Ross House at the top of Mount Olympus in Los Angeles. It was great to see him. I am honored that he allowed Leah Sydney to take a picture of us together, it’s one of the best mementos I have from this experience. I post it here again.

We are all in awe of Norman Lear and bow down to him on this momentous occasion.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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