Norman Lear is an actor, writer, producer, director, and creator of such legendary sitcoms as All In The Family, Good Times, Sanford And Son, The Jeffersons, Maude, and many others which defined and revolutionized American television.
In 1959, Lear created his first television series for NBC, The Deputy, starring Henry Fonda. The show ran for two successful seasons, and ended in 1961.
Lear started his comedic writing career in 1967 when he wrote and produced the film, Divorce American Style and directed the film Cold Turkey starring Dick Van Dyke.
Perhaps his best known series, All In The Family, came about when he read about a British show called 'Til Death Do Us Part, about a father and a son-in-law who fought constantly about everything politically. He realized it was much like his relationship with his own father. Based on this idea, he wrote a pilot, and CBS premiered the show on January 12, 1971.
Sanford And Son, created with Bud Yorkin, debuted in 1972. This sitcom was also inspired by a British sitcom, Steptoe and Son.
Maude, a spin-off from All In The Family starring Bea Arthur, premiered in 1972. From Maude came another spin-off, Good Times, and yet another spin-off was created from All in the Family, The Jeffersons.
Lear's shows are known for their strong, diverse characters and provocative and often controversial stories.
Lear is also known for his strong political views, having created People for the American Way, a political lobbying group.
Norman Lear was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984.