Norman Lear, the television screenwriter and producer who introduced political and social commentary to the sitcom with “All in the Family” and other shows, proving that it was possible to be topical as well as funny while still attracting millions of viewers. , died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 101 years old.
His death was confirmed by Lara Bergthold, a spokesperson for the family.
Lear reigned atop the television world throughout the 1970s and early ’80s, leaving a lasting mark with shows that brought comedy to the real world.
“The Jeffersons” looked at the struggles faced by a rising black family; The very different black family in “Good Times” addressed poverty and discrimination. The protagonist of “Maude” was an outspoken feminist; The heroine of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” was plagued by all sorts of modern problems, including her own neurosis.
“In those years you watched television,” Lear said in an interview with the New York Times in 2012, referring to the mid-to-late 1960s, “and the biggest problem any family faced was: ‘My mother dented the car, and how is it maintained? Don’t let dad find out’; “The boss is coming to dinner and the barbecue has been ruined.” The message that was conveyed was that we had no problem.”
A full obituary will be published shortly.
Richard Severo, a Times reporter from 1968 to 2006, died in June. Alex Traub contributed reporting.