You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rita Moreno, Bob Saget Celebrate Norman Lear’s 96th Birthday at AARP TV for Grownups Honors

Norman Lear had two reasons to celebrate on Tuesday night — his upcoming 96th birthday on Friday, and his evening in the spotlight at AARP’s first TV for Grownups Honors.

Lear, the famed producer behind “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and most recently, the revived “One Day at a Time,” was the honoree at the AARP event, which celebrated his revolutionary role in the industry, particularly for older audiences. Friend and “One Day at a Time” star Rita Moreno presented Lear with the award among friends and former colleagues including Bob Saget, Frances Fisher, Ed Begley Jr, John Amos, Adrienne Barbeau and host Wendie Malick.

“When people ask me how old do I feel, I always say I think of myself as the peer of whoever I’m talking to,” the producer said in his speech. “If you’re 26, I’m 26; if you’re 86, I’m 86; if you’re 12, I’m 12. I have a hard time being a grownup.”

Moreno, who admitted to having been a longtime fan of Lear’s projects, said she thought she had missed her opportunity to work with him, but collaborating on the Netflix series has been “the best thing in the whole world.”

“I’m 86, but I call him the Old Fart and call me the Fartette, and it’s fabulous to work with him,” she told Variety at the AARP honors. “He has all his faculties, he’s still very much a producer, he still has very strong opinions about how a scene should go and how it should be written. I just can’t believe my good luck.”

Moreno noted that Lear has always been an innovator, particularly with one of her favorite shows, “Maude,” which starred Beatrice Arthur as an outspoken liberal woman in the 1970s.

“I mean this was a feminist show, and I think if someone had said that word at the time half the people would say ‘Femine-what?,'” she joked. “He’s always been ahead of his time, or he’s certainly in the moment. I think what he’s done with my show ‘One Day at a Time’ is extraordinary.”

Saget also joined in on the birthday celebrations, calling Lear “one of the best people I’ve known in my entire life.” He also pointed out Lear’s ability to create and continue to run shows despite his age, saying, “The man is going to be 96 and he sounds like a 45-year-old man.”

“We need Norman Lears, we need a lot of them, we need a million of them right now,” Saget added.

In his brief moment on stage, Lear praised Moreno for her work on their show and her overall career, ending with a more emotional sentiment.

“The fact that you are all here for me thrills me, and I thank you, and I’m here for you too,” he said.

The debut event for TV for Grownups Honors was held at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles, and was modeled after AARP’s Movies for Grownups franchise, which provides content for the 50-plus audience.

More TV

  • Mark-Paul GosselaarFOX 'The Passage' TV show

    'Mixed-ish' at ABC Adds Mark-Paul Gosselaar in Recasting

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar has boarded the upcoming ABC comedy “Mixed-ish.” “Mixed-ish,” a spinoff of “Black-ish,” focuses on the experience of Tracee Ellis Ross’s character, Rainbow Johnson, growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s. Gosselaar will play the role of Bow’s father, taking over from Anders Holm, who played the role in the original pilot. [...]

  • Greg Berlanti

    Greg Berlanti on Why Movies Are Lagging Behind TV in LGBTQ Representation

    Greg Berlanti is television’s most prolific producer. With a record-breaking 18 series from his production company greenlit for the 2019-2020 season, the openly gay Berlanti is using his power to ensure the LGBTQ community is reflected on the small screen — both in front of and behind the camera. From casting the first transgender superhero [...]

  • Legion

    How Production Designer Marco Niro Created a Visual Climax for FX's ‘Legion’

    FX’s “Legion” has always drawn inspiration not only from the Marvel “X-Men” comics on which it is based, but also from the weirder corners of pop culture. When creator Noah Hawley cast “Downton Abbey” star Dan Stevens as the lead — David Haller, a mutant whose telepathic powers have been misdiagnosed as mental illness — [...]


    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets 'Dear White People' Season 3 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV roundup, “Dear White People” sets an August 2 premiere and Showtime acquires the six-episode comedy series “Back to Life.” DATES “Dear White People” will return for its third season on August 2. The news was announced in a comedic sketch posted to Netflix‘s Youtube channel, in which the series’ cast members debate [...]

  • Adam Lambert Queen

    Adam Lambert on What's Changed for Gay Artists Since His 'American Idol' Run

    Ten years ago, Adam Lambert burst onto the music scene in a blaze of guy-liner, hairspray and sexual ambiguity as America’s most unlikely “Idol.” But while he had the rock star look down and a soaring voice that seduced the hard-to-impress Simon Cowell, Lambert lost. Or did he? While many blamed homophobia for his runner-up [...]

  • Loudest Voice Roger Ailes Miniseries

    Will Showtime's Roger Ailes Miniseries 'The Loudest Voice' Spark More Tell-Alls?

    Roger Ailes in 1996 supervised the launch of a multibillion-dollar business few people thought would ever get off the ground. In 2019 he may have a posthumous hand in instigating something equally complex: a ripped-from-the-headlines drama about the media industry, complete with portrayals of people who still help make it run. If that foray is successful, plenty of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content