Iconic television producer Norman Lear, the man behind groundbreaking shows such as “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Sanford and Son,” was named Thursday the recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Carol Burnett Award.
The award was created three years ago as the television version of the HFPA’s longstanding Cecil B. DeMille Award for contributions to the film industry. The Carol Burnett Award honors a person “who has made outstanding contributions to the television medium on or off the screen.”
“Norman Lear is among the most prolific creators of this generation,” HFPA President Ali Sar said in a statement. “His career has spanned the Golden Age and the streaming era. His progressive approach addressing controversial topics through humor prompted a cultural shift that allowed social and political issues to be reflected in television. His work revolutionized the industry and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is honored to name him as the 2021 Carol Burnett Award recipient.”
Lear, 98, will receive the award during the Golden Globe Awards ceremony Feb. 28. He will be the third recipient of the award, which was previously presented to its namesake, Carol Burnett, and last year to Ellen DeGeneres.
An Air Force veteran, Lear began his television career in the early 1950s, writing for the “Colgate Comedy Hour” and “The Martin and Lewis Show.”
He became a force in American television production, with a string of successful sitcoms that pushed societal barriers and tackled pressing political topics, beginning with the timeless comedy “All in the Family,” and followed by hits including “Sanford and Son,” “Maude,” “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons” and “One Day at a Time.”
Lear is a six-time Emmy winner — his last two coming in the past two years in partnership with Jimmy Kimmel for live revivals of “All in the Family,” “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons.”
He is currently working on an animated reboot of “Good Times” for Netflix and recently produced a documentary on actress Rita Moreno, who starred in a recent reboot of “One Day at a Time.”