Norman Lear celebrates 101st birthday with video about living 'second childhood'

Lear said he is "living in that moment" between the words "over and next."

July 27, 2023, 7:12 PM

Legendary producer and writer Norman Lear turned 101 on Thursday and is sharing some words of wisdom from the current era of his life.

In a video he posted on Instagram on Thursday as part of his "#breakfastthoughts" series, the television icon who is known for his work on the iconic show "All in the Family," said he is "entering his second childhood."

"It feels like that in terms of the care I'm getting," he said. "I get the kind of care at this age that I see children getting, toddlers getting. So I'm now a 101-year-old toddler and I'm thinking of two little words that we don't think of often enough or pay attention to: over and next."

"When something is over, it's just over," he added. "And we have the joy and privilege of getting on to the next. If there were a hammock in the middle of -- between those two words -- it would be the best way I know to identify living in the moment."

"That hammock between over and next," Lear said at the end of his video. "I'm living in that moment now with all of you and bless all of you and our America."

For his 100th birthday last year, Lear shared a similar message on Instagram about "living in the moment."

The centenarian told his followers to "treasure" the moment and "use it with love."

To celebrate the milestone, ABC also threw Lear a party, which was filmed for a television special. It starred Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Pharoah, Kim Fields, Ike Barinholtz, Kenya Barris, Tony Danza and more. Kristen Bell also sang the theme song for "The Facts of Life," a television series in the 1980s that Lear executive produced.

Lear has written and produced more than 100 shows in his lifetime and is also known for his work on "Sanford and Son," "One Day at a Time," and ore. He also created several spin-offs of "All in the Family," including "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Maude." The television producer has been praised throughout history for tackling topics that were considered taboo at the time.

He has also won numerous awards for his work. In 1984, he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

In 2021, Lear received the Carol Burnett Award at the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards, for "outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen."

Outside of television and film, Lear is a World War II veteran and has been a politically engaged activist throughout his life.

The longtime writer and producer founded the progressive advocacy group People for the American Way in 1980 and is the recipient of numerous honors, including the National Medal of Arts and the Woody Guthrie Prize. In 2017, he was selected as a Kennedy Center Honoree.