Norman Lear remembered as trailblazer for Latino representation in entertainment

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FILE PHOTO: 2019 British Academy Britannia Awards - Arrivals - Beverly Hills, California, U.S., October 25, 2019 - Norman Lear. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

The passing of Norman Lear, who lived to be 101 years old has received condolences from the entertainment industry from Latino actors and activists.

Lear, a legendry television producer was widely recognized for his support of Latino talent, writers and causes long before diversity and inclusion became popular in the industry.

Gloria Calderón Kellett, producer of the version of Lear’s show “One Day at a Time ” commended Lear for his bravery in embracing nontraditional casting and promoting diversity during a time when it wasn’t widely accepted. She emphasized how Lear fearlessly tackled social issues through characters like Archie Bunker and Maude Findlay.

During an interview in 2021 Calderón Kellett described Lear as a Person who genuinely cared about others in the industry. Comedian Paul Rodriguez, known for his role as Pablo in Lear’s sitcom “Pablo” in 1984 acknowledged Lear’s significant contributions to advancing Latino representation, on television long before it was recognized by others.

Liz Torres, an actor and singer who worked with Lear on “All in the Family ” fondly shared her experience of collaborating with him. She described him as charming, humorous and incredibly generous.
Torres conveyed appreciation to Lear for the influence he had on her career.

Lear’s remarkable contribution to the community can be seen in his role in establishing the Imagen Awards which has resulted in a lasting legacy of acknowledging and honoring Latino performers. Lear’s impact, generosity and dedication to promoting diversity have made an impression on the entertainment industry.

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