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Norman Lear, Mimi Kennedy, George Takei, Marla Gibbs and George Wallace are encouraging Hollywood to take steps in creating more stories about the lives of older adults in a new #RethinkAging campaign.
In partnership with the University of Southern California Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center, the industry veterans created an amusing video announcing that they’re still very much in the game — and their stories matter.
“They said 91 is the new 60,” Gibbs said in the video. “I don’t know where they got that, honey. Ninety-one is the new 30.”
Gibbs most recently appeared in Grey’s Anatomy season 19 as the grandmother of one of the hospital’s new residents, but she’s best known for her portrayal of Florence on Lear’s 1970s sitcom The Jeffersons and her role as Mary Jenkins in the ’80s comedy 227.
Lear, who will be 101 in July, cheerfully shared that he became the oldest person to win an Emmy in 2020 for outstanding variety special (live) as an executive producer of ABC’s Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times.
“How about that,” Lear beamed.
Takei noted why the lives of older adults deserve more representation in today’s culture and entertainment. “When you’ve lived a while, heartbreaks, setbacks, tragedies and triumphs — they all take on a deeper resonance,” he said.
“We’re still doing cool stuff,” Takei added. The Star Trek alum recently made his London stage debut in the musical Allegiance, about his life during the Japanese American internment in World War II.
TV, film and stage veteran Kennedy is best known for her role as Marjorie on CBS’ Mom and is set to co-star alongside Gordon Clapp in Steven Drukman’s Pru Payne.
“All of us are more than what we show on the outside, and so are the characters we need to portray,” she said. “We can still define beauty, passion, even sex,” playfully adding, “Talk to my husband.”
“Or mine,” Takei added.
Wallace recently returned to the Las Vegas stage for his stand-up act and will star in a new sitcom called Clean Slate with Laverne Cox. He’ll also be featured in an ABC News special about Black entertainers in Vegas.
“You don’t want to write us off,” the comedian said. “In fact, you should write us into your scripts.”
Watch the video below.
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