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'A master of storytelling' - Reaction to the death of pioneering TV figure Norman Lear

FILE - Norman Lear appears during the "American Masters: Norman Lear" panel at the PBS Summer TCA Tour on Aug. 1, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Lear, producer of TV's "All in the Family" and and an influential liberal advocate, died Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, at 101. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

A collection of reactions to the death of Norman Lear, the writer, director and producer who revolutionized prime time television, who died Tuesday night at 101.

“I loved Norman Lear with all my heart. He was my second father. Sending my love to Lyn and the whole Lear family.” — Rob Reiner, via X, formerly Twitter.

“Norman loved America and told our stories with heart, facing the good, the bad, and the truth of who we are as a nation striving to form a more perfect union. He made generations of Americans care, and we are grateful,” President Joe Biden, in a statement.

“Norman Lear was a national treasure. He was more than a creator of groundbreaking television - he was a trailblazer who transformed how we watch and talk about entertainment for over 85 years and I will always be grateful for the impact he had in paving the way for so many of us in the industry.” — Brian Grazer, in a statement.

“More than anyone before him, Norman used situation comedy to shine a light on prejudice, intolerance and inequality. He created families that mirrored ours.” — Jimmy Kimmel, in a statement.

"There will be so many words on how Norman made the world better in the days to come. They’re all true and they’re all underselling it. I’ll miss writing him birthday tunes every year. I’m grateful for every text and conversation we had. My heart is with his family and all the families he made.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, in a statement.

“A master of storytelling and a healer through his shows! He is what all of showbiz should be aspiring to. He is the consummate creative producer we have long abandoned in the industry.” — John Leguizamo, via X.

“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.” — George Clooney, in a 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,” CBS said in a statement. All major networks plan to air a brief Lear tribute Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

"My Goat. What a life. Rest well, Norman Lear." — Quinta Brunson, via X.

“A hero and someone who inspired me to try and bring as much laughter to the world as he brought to the little boy that I was. You sir are truly one of one! I’m so glad we were on the planet at the same time. Thank you for your example.” — Tyler Perry, in a statement.

“Anyone who ever had a chance to say something pointed or political in an American television entertainment owes Norman Lear their adoration and awe. He saw what was possible in that vacuous glowing box and, almost singularly, he made it so.” — David Simon, via X.

“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.” — Jane Fonda, in a statement.

“Norman Lear revolutionized the television landscape, pushed societal boundaries and transformed our culture with groundbreaking comedies that addressed serious issues and offered sharp social commentary while being remarkably funny — appealing to broad audiences for over five decades." – National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson, in a statement.

“I had the pleasure of spending time with this giant at his home in the Palisades several times. The words “legend” and “icon” get thrown around too much, but this guy was both.” — Kathy Griffin, on X.

“Truly a legend and a hero, he gave the world infinite laughter, the best sort of controversy and entertainment.” — Paul Rudnick, via X.

The Associated Press

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