Norman Lear, the famed TV writer and producer, celebrated his 98th birthday Monday by giving thanks.
“My morning thought on my 98th birthday is, where can I go out and dig a mine deep enough for the gratitude I feel? Or how high can I fly to reach a place that meets the deepest amount of gratitude I feel?” mused Lear, whose credits include iconic sitcoms such as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Maude and Good Times.
He said he was celebrating in Vermont with his entire family, including six children and four grandchildren.
Lear then cited a quote from German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
“And my morning thought is each man — I love this, I think Goethe said it — each man is my superior,” Lear said. “Each woman, also, is my superior in that I may learn from him and her.”
Lear’s shows were celebrated in recreations of classic episodes done with contemporary actors, including Jamie Foxx and Marisa Tomei, twice last year.
It was announced Monday that he will reunite with surviving cast members from another one of his popular ‘70s sitcoms, One Day at a Time, on the July 30 episode of YouTube series Stars in the House. Proceeds will benefit the Actors Fund.
Lear explained a couple of his secrets for living such a long and happy life to Oprah on a July 2016 episode of her SuperSoul Sunday. One was laughter, which he described as a spiritual experience when an audience is doing it together.
Another was attitude.
“I think of myself as the peer of whoever I’m talking to,” Lear told Oprah. “If I was sitting here talking to a 12-year-old, I’d be 12. That’s the way I would feel.”
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