Norman Lear Breaks an Emmy Record, Becomes the Oldest Winner Ever – TheWrap

Norman Lear Breaks an Emmy Record, Becomes the Oldest Winner Ever – TheWrap

Norman Lear was already one of the most-honored people in television history, but now he has another distinction to add to his long career: At 97 years and 49 days, he’s the oldest person ever to win an Emmy Award.

Asked about the achievement, he said backstage at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday: “I don’t think about it a lot,” and quipped, “I like waking up in the morning.”

Lear set the record on Saturday as one of the producers of “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons.’” The ABC program, which included live peformances of episodes from two of Lear’s seminal 1970s comedies, won in the Outstanding Variety Special (Live) category.

Also Read: Creative Arts Emmy Emmys, Day 1: Complete List of Winners (Updating Live)

Jimmy Kimmel, who produced the show with Lear, was asked what it was like to make a show with the TV legend.

“It’s the greatest thing you could ever imagine. It’s like dancing with Fred Astaire,” Kimmel said.

“That makes me Ginger Rogers,” Lear quipped.

Lear and Kimmel also announced that they are planning another live special later in the year, but declined to provide details.

Lear was also asked how he had written to many African American characters embraced by black viewers, especially on “The Jeffersons.” He had another quick joke: “Evidently you haven’t noticed that I’m black.”

Also Read: Norman Lear Teases More Live Remakes of His Classic Sitcoms After Emmy Nominations

He went on to add that he tries to focus on the universal similarities between all people.

The previous record-holder as the oldest winner was David Attenborough, who set a new record on Saturday night about half an hour before Lear won. Attenborough, who is 93, won for narrating “Our Planet.”

With his nomination for “Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” Lear had already topped Carl Reiner to become the oldest Emmy nominee ever.

Lear’s win comes 48 years after he won the Emmy in the Outstanding Series – Comedy category for “All in the Family.” He would go on to win four Emmys for that show, and to be inducted into the Emmy Hall of Fame in 1984. He has also won two Peabody Awards, the Kennedy Center Honor, the Woody Guthrie Prize and the National Medal of Arts.

The award was announced at Saturday’s Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony, the first of two non-televised ceremonies that will precede the Sept. 22 Primetime Emmy Awards telecast. The ceremony took place at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

10 Stars Who Just Need an Emmy to EGOT, From Elton John to Stephen Sondheim (Photos)

  • elton john stephen sondheim egot

    The EGOT — an acronym for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony — is among the greatest and most elusive honors in entertainment. These stars are (or were) close to achieving it.

  • henry fonda

    Henry Fonda, actor (1905-82) 

    Best Spoken Word Album, “Great Documents” (1977) 

    Oscar: Best Actor, “On Golden Pond” (1981) 

    Tony: Best Actor, “Mister Roberts” (1948); Best Actor, “Clarence Darrow” (1975)

  • elton john new england patriots super bowl 51

    Elton John, composer and musician (1947-) 

    Grammy: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, “That’s What Friends Are For” (1986); Best Instrumental Composition, “Basque” (1991); Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (1994); Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, “Candle in the Wind” (1997); Best Show Album, “Aida” (2000) 

    Oscar: Best Original Son, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King” (1994) 

    Tony: Best Score, “Aida” (2000)

  • oscar hammerstein ii

    Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist and producer (1895-1960) 

    Grammy: Best Original Cast Album, “The Sound of Music” (1960) 

    Oscar: Best Original Song, “The Last Time I Saw Paris” from “Lady Be Good” (1941); “It Might As Well Be Spring” from “State Fair” (1945) 

    Tony: Three awards for “South Pacific” (1950); Best Musical, “The King and I” (1952); Best Musical, “The Sound of Music” (1960)

  • stephen sondheim

    Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist (1930-) 

    Grammy: Best Show Album, “Company” (1970); Best Show Album, “A Little Night Music” (1973); Song of the Year, “Send in the Clowns” (1975); Best Show Album, “Sweeney Todd” (1979); Best Show Album, “Sunday in the Park With George” (1984); Best Cast Show Album, “Into the Woods” (1988); Best Show Album, “Passion” (1994);

    Oscar: Best Original Song, “Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man)” from “Dick Tracy” (1990) 

    Tony: Best Musical, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” (1963); Best Score and Best Lyrics, “Company” (1971); Best Score, “Follies” (1972); Best Score, “A Little Night Music” (1973); Best Score, “Sweeney Todd” (1979); Best Score, “Into the Woods” (1988); Best Score, “Passion” (1994)

  • alan jay lerner

    Alan Jay Lerner, lyricist and writer (1918-86) 

    Grammy: Best Original Cast Album, “On a Clear Day” (1965) 

    Oscar: Best Original Screenplay, “An American in Paris” (1951); Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song, “Gigi” (1958)

    Tony: Best Musical, “My Fair Lady” (1957); Best Original Score, “Gigi” (1974)

  • frank loesser

    Frank Loesser, composer (1910-69)

    Best Cast Album, “How to Succeed…” (1961) 

    Oscar: Best Song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from “Neptune’s Daughter” (1949) 

    Tony: Best Musical, “Guys and Dolls” (1951); Best Musical, “How to Succeed…” (1962)

  • alan menken

    Alan Menken, composer (1949-) 

    Grammy: Best Recording for Children and Song for TV or Film, “The Little Mermaid” (1990); Best Recording for Children, Song for TV or Film, Instrumental for TV or Film, “Beauty and the Beast” (1992); Song of the Year, “A Whole New World,” Best Recording for Children, Song for TV or Film, Instrumental for TV or Film, “Aladdin” (1993); Best Song for TV or Film, “Colors of the Wind” (1995); Best Song for Visual Medium, “I See the Light” (2011) 

    Oscar: Best Score and Song, “The Little Mermaid” (1989); Best Score and Song, “Beauty and the Beast” (1991); Best Score and Song, “Aladdin” (1992); Best Score and Song, “Pocahontas” (1995) 

    Tony: Best Score, “Newsies” (2012)

  • jule styne

    Jule Styne, composer and songwriter (1905-94) 

    Best Cast Album, “Funny Girl” (1964) 

    Oscar: Best Song, “Three Coins in the Fountain” (1954) 

    Tony: Best Musical and Best Score, “Hallelujah Baby” (1968)

  • Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

    Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, composers (both 1985 – ) 

    Best Musical Theater Album, “Dear Evan Hansen” (2018) 

    Oscar: Best Original Song, “La La Land” (2017) 

    Tony: Best Original Score, “Dear Evan Hansen” (2017)

A select group of entertainers can round out their trophy cases with a competitive win from the Television Academy

The EGOT — an acronym for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony — is among the greatest and most elusive honors in entertainment. These stars are (or were) close to achieving it.


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