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Norman Lear’s Family Sang His Sitcom Theme Songs as He Passed

Some of the last things Norman Lear heard were the songs that he made iconic.

Lear’s son-in-law, Dr. Jon LaPook, revealed Thursday that their family was singing TV theme songs from Lear’s classic shows to him as he passed away. Lear died Tuesday at the age of 101.

“The family was gathered around the bed, he was very comfortable and resting peacefully, and we did what we knew he would want,” LaPook told CBS Mornings. “We were singing songs from Les Mis, and also some of the songs from his TV shows.”

Some of Lear’s shows included All in the FamilyMaudeGood TimesMary Hartman, Mary Hartman and The Jeffersons.

“You never know when these moments are going to sneak up on you,” LaPook continued,” [but when] we started singing ‘movin’ on up to the East Side …‘ [from The Jeffersons] and I heard myself saying ‘to a deluxe apartment in the sky …’ I just lost it, because he’s going to some deluxe apartment in the sky.”

LaPook was asked about how he’s previously said he wanted to give Lear a “soft landing for the plane.”

“We wanted him to have a gentle landing and have no pain,” he said. “If you were to say to someone in their 40s, ‘How do you want to die?’ [They might say, ‘at age] 101, surrounded by loved ones, with them singing to me and laughing and without any pain,’ and that’s exactly what happened.”

Added LaPook: “He had this expression: ‘Over and next.’ When something was over, it’s over, and it’s onto ‘next.’ It’s the best definition of living in the moment.”

LaPook also speculated on how Lear was able to continue to keep working and be productive well into his 90s.

“The secret to all that was his humanism, his interest in other people,” LaPook said. “He had something called ‘engaged curiosity.’ He had relationships with people who were super famous, but he was also just as interested in people who were not famous.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter