‘An Extraordinary Life’: Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel And More Pay Tribute To TV Icon Norman Lear After His Death

 Norman Lear on Good Morning America.
Norman Lear on Good Morning America.
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The world lost a giant in the entertainment industry on December 5, as TV producer and screenwriter Norman Lear passed away at the age of 101. Best known for creating All in the Family, Lear’s name has stayed in the conversation over the years, as his sitcoms continue to be in conversations about reboots and live revivals. With his contribution to the television landscape being so undeniable, it’s not surprising that a number of notable entertainers — including Jennifer Aniston, Mel Brooks, Jimmy Kimmel and more — paid tribute to the TV legend.

Jennifer Aniston posted a lengthy tribute to Norman Lear on Instagram, saying that getting to know him was one of her “greatest honors,” as his creations had helped to shape her childhood. The Friends star noted how the World War II veteran was able to tackle political topics in ways that allowed us to learn while we laughed. You can read her statement on his “extraordinary life” in full below:

Jimmy Kimmel opened the December 6 edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live with a somber message about the producer's death, also noting that he was lucky to have been able to meet and work with him. He told a great story about sending him a shirt that read “Norman F-kin’ Lear” for Christmas, reading the hilarious expletive-filled response that Lear sent back. Kimmel continued:

He leaves behind his wife Lyn, a beautiful family and a legacy that won’t ever be matched. It would be impossible. We were all lucky to have him. I hope we never forget him or the many lessons that he taught us. One of the many, many sweet things about Norman was he never said goodbye. He’d say, ‘To be continued’ and ‘Over and next,’ so that’s how we’ll leave it. To be continued, over and next.

Fellow entertainment legend Mel Brooks lamented not just the loss of a great contributor to the industry but also the loss of his friend. The silver lining, according to Brooks, is that we have a number of projects to remember him by. The director posted to X:

The world has suddenly become a sadder place to live in with the passing of Norman Lear. He was a great positive force in the entertainment industry, & more importantly to me personally he was a good friend. We are so lucky to have his remarkable body of work to remember him by.

Actress Rita Moreno posted a photo of herself with Norman Lear, saying she was already lonesome without her friend. Her beautiful caption relayed how Lear’s work made his audiences reflect on themselves, as she wrote:

Norman Lear broke the mold when it came to situational comedy, as he tackled social issues like race relations and abortion on his series. Ben Stiller recalled this aspect of Lear’s legacy as he wrote on X:

What an incredibly influential & brilliant man. He was a champion for social justice. I feel fortunate to have grown up in the time his shows became the standard for comedy on television. Also he was so humble & generous. Respect. Rest in peace.

Comedian/actress Wanda Sykes shared a video from 2019 of Norman Lear singing The Jeffersons theme song “Moving On Up” at the taping of Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' which featured live performances of two of Lear’s most well-known projects. She also spoke about the trailblazer’s legacy, writing:

Michael McKean credited Norman Lear for helping to boost his film career in a sweet message on X, writing:

Without Norman Lear, who headed Embassy Pictures in the early 80s, This Is Spinal Tap would never have been made. Would have liked him anyway. RIP, boss.

Proving that the entertainment icon had an impact on some of the biggest names in TV today, Quinta Brunson posted a short and sweet tribute, writing:

My Goat. What a life. Rest well, Norman Lear.

Al Jean of The Simpsons fame recalled one of the producer’s rare acting credits, as Norman Lear had a hilarious cameo on a 2017 episode of the Fox animated series. He wrote:

Norman Lear reportedly died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife Lyn Davis, six children and four grandchildren. Our condolences go out to all of those affected by Lear’s passing.