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Norman Lear, the legendary TV creator and activist, will become the only third-ever recipient of the Carol Burnett Award during the all-virtual 78th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Feb. 28, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Thursday.
The HFPA’s highest honor for work in TV has previously been awarded to Burnett herself (2019) and Ellen DeGeneres (2020).
“Norman Lear is among the most prolific creators of this generation,” HFPA president Ali Sar said in a statement. “His career has encompassed both the Golden Age and the Streaming Era, throughout which 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 his as the 2021 Carol Burnett Award recipient.”
Lear, who is now 98, but displays no signs of slowing down, began his TV career in 1950. He led a TV revolution in the 1970s by employing the sitcom format to tackle matters of social import on a host of unforgettable shows including All in the Family (1971-1979), Sanford and Son (1972-1977), Maude (1972-1978), Good Times (1974-1979), The Jeffersons (1975-1985), One Day at a Time (1975-1984) and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976-1977). At one point, in 1976, he simultaneously had eight shows on the air, six in the top 10 of the ratings.
A winner of four Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, the National Medal of the Arts and a Kennedy Centers Honor, he was one of the original seven inductees into the Television Academy Hall of Fame back in 1984.
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