Norman Lear Becomes Oldest Emmy Winner Ever At 97

The producer surpasses Sir David Attenborough to become the oldest person to win the award

Norman Lear attends the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Norman Lear attends the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / September 15, 2019 10:06 am

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards kicked off last night (Sept. 14th) at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and they made a little history: legendary producer Norman Lear became the oldest person to ever win an Emmy.

Lear, 97, took home the award for Outstanding Variety Special for his Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons special, which starred Woody Harrelson and Jamie Foxx. He beat the record previously held by Sir David Attenborough, who is 93.

“Thank you, thank you, and holy shit,” Lear, who executive produced and wrote the special, said while accepting the award. “I got a great reaction, saying that when opening a Christmas present when I was seven years old. It’s 90 years later, and I feel much the same.”

“The fact of my life is, I don’t think about it a lot,” he said backstage in reference to his age. “I suppose I’m thinking about it more now…I like waking up in the morning.”

Lear won four Emmys for All in the Family in the ’70s, and in 1984 the Television Academy inducted him into its Hall of Fame.

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