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Producer Norman Lear dies at age 101


Recognized king of the sitcom

This week's entertainment world hailed the legacy of television pioneer Norman Lear following his death at age 101, calling him a ``giant'' of the industry who changed the face of the medium.

“We have lost a giant,'' actor/comedian Billy Crystal wrote on social media. “A man of great humor and dignity. What an amazing life that has given so much to us all. He used laughter as a way to look at ourselves. A blessing to have been his friend for almost 50 years.''

Albert Brooks called Lear “The greatest of the greats,'' while Ben Stiller hailed him as “an incredibly influential and brilliant man.''

“I feel fortunate to have grown up in the time his shows became the standard for comedy on television,'' Stiller wrote. “Also he was so humble & generous.''

Rita Moreno, who starred in a remake of Lear's hit “One Day at a Time,'' wrote, “I am cut to the quick and already lonesome for my dear friend, Norman. Our nation has lost a treasured looking glass. By his reflected wit, we were disarmed enough to see our wrinkles. And he wasn't promoting makeup but heart transplants.''

Jimmy Kimmel, who recently worked with Lear and revived some of his classic scripts with all-star recreations broadcast live, said that even though Lear lived to be 101 years old, his death “feels unfair.''

“His bravery, integrity, and unmatched moral compass were equaled by his kindness, empathy, and wit,'' Kimmel wrote. “Norman was very proud of the fact that the so-called Rev. Jerry Falwell dubbed him ‘the number one enemy of the American family.' The opposite was true. More than anyone before him, Norman used situational comedy to shine a light on prejudice, intolerance, and

inequality. He created families that mirrored ours, showing us a world in which Archie Bunker and Michael Stivic could learn not only to co-exist but to love one another.

“... He was a great American, a hero in every way and so funny, smart, and such a lovely man you almost couldn't believe it. The privilege of working alongside Norman and the opportunity he gave me and my wife to get to know him and his beautiful family has been among the great honors and pleasures of my life. We were all very lucky to have him.''

Actor/comedian John Leguizamo hailed Lear as a “master of storytelling and a healer through his shows.''

“He is what all of showbiz should be aspiring to,'' Leguizamo wrote. “He is the consummate creative producer we have long abandoned in the industry.''

“Abbott Elementary'' creator/writer Quinta Brunson wrote simply, “My Goat. What a life. Rest well, Norman Lear.''