Norman Lear’s Family Sang His TV Theme Songs As He Passed Away
They say that no one dies wishing they spent more time working — however, Norman Lear’s family felt that the late, great TV legend’s final moments should be spent as if he was still on the set of Sanford and Son.
Following Lear's passing this past Tuesday, the comedy world collectively agreed that this week will forever be known as “The Week Norman Lear Died” as every TV titan and sitcom superstar has come out to publicly honor the hitmaker to whom the entire industry owes so much. Privately, the Lear family similarly celebrates the 101 years of their patriarch’s life and mourns his loss through his unmatched body of work, and the same shows that touched the lives of so many sitcom creators and fans helped Lear’s loved ones process the ending of his own.
Speaking to CBS Mornings yesterday, Lear’s doctor and son-in-law Dr. Jon LaPook, who is also the show’s chief medical correspondent, recalled the way his family came together to help Lear through his passing and confirm that, even at the end of the road, no one can ever get The Jeffersons’ theme song out of their heads.
“First of all, he was one of my best friends. And I feel like I’ve had a masterclass at the feet of Norman Lear, a masterclass in life, for over 40 years,” LaPook began. Speaking of the legend’s final moments, LaPook remembered, “The family was gathered around the bed. He was very comfortable and resting peacefully, and we did what we knew he would want us to do — we were singing songs from Les Mis, which he loved, and also some of the songs from his TV shows.”
LaPook explained that the family started with the All in the Family intro and moved through the many hits of his illustrious credit list. “You never know when these moments are going to sneak up on you,” LaPook recalled. “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.”