TV writer-producer Norman Lear is a true pioneer — not only in the sense that he created such legendary sitcoms as All in the Family, Maude and The Jeffersons, but also because he tackled topics such as menopause, impotence and even transgender issues when they were still taboo.
In an interview with Katie Couric, Lear, 92, says he still chokes up when watching the All in the Family scene in which Edith (Jean Stapleton) discusses her friend Beverly — whom Lear describes as "a transsexual, a man who'd become a woman" — getting murdered.
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"What a glorious actress she was," Lear, 92, says of Stapleton, who died last year. "I'm so touched by that moment. ... She was wonderful."
Speaking to Couric to promote his new autobiography, Even This I Get to Experience, Lear says he didn't set out to make All in the Family a groundbreaking series.
"Other people told me it was an important show," he tells Couric. "We had 240, 250 people that were sitting there and we were taping a show, and we were there to make them laugh and make them feel. That's all I thought we were doing. It was other people who said, 'You're commenting on the times,' you're this and that."
Watch Lear's full interview with Katie Couric here: