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Norman Lear is ‘living in the moment’ as he celebrates 101st birthday

The television writer and producer offered sage advice to his followers about receiving and providing care.
/ Source: TODAY

Norman Lear, the television giant who developed over 100 shows, is now over 100.

The television producer and screenwriter — best known for launching sitcoms like “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Son” and “One Day at a Time” — celebrated his 101st birthday on July 27.

In a post shared on his Instagram page, the writer reflected on a life filled with laughs and the lessons it provided him, including learning to live in the moment.

“Norman Lear here, dribbling a bit because he’s entering his second childhood,” he jokes. “I have just turned 101 and that is, they tell me, my second childhood. It feels like that in terms of the care I am getting. I get the kind of care at this age that I see children getting.”

“And so, I am now a 101-year-old toddler and I am thinking about two little words that we don’t think about often enough... over and next,” he adds. “When something is over, it’s over, and we have the joy and privilege of getting on to the next. And if there were a hammock in between those two words, it would be the best way I know of identifying living in the moment.”

In the comments section of the post, actors and writers were quick to celebrate the entertainment titan and his contributions to entertainment.

“I love you Norman!” Judd Apatow commented. “Happy Birthday! You are always an inspiration.”

Melanie Griffith chimed in, writing, “Sending you love Norman!”

“Happy Birthday!” Alyssa Milano added. “Love you!”

“Happy Birthday Norman!!!! Love you,” Justina Machado replied.

Beyond winning six Emmys, and two Peabody Awards, Lear was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 2017 and the Golden Globe Carol Burnett Award in 2021.

In 2015, he published his memoir “Even This I Get to Experience.”

Lear is also known for his political activism and progressive outlook.

In a 2014 appearance on “Meet the Press: Press Pass” Lear spoke about his career of pushing the envelope by confronting topics like race and abortion rights in series like “Maude” and “The Jeffersons,” saying, “I didn’t even think I was breaking a mold.”

During the conversation, Lear also spoke about the future of television in an industry dominated by streaming.

“I don’t think they need to panic. I think they need to open their eyes and see what’s going on,” he remarked at the time of creatives. “Produce from their guts and their minds.”