Jennifer Aniston Celebrates Norman Lear’s ‘Extraordinary Life’ and Says Knowing Him Was ‘One of My Greatest Honors’

“Norman Lear. đź’” His shows shaped my childhood and getting to know him was one of my greatest honors,” she began her message, which

featured two pictures of her and Lear embracing. “He made such a difference. A huge impact on television and humanity.”

The Friends star went on to note how the Hollywood icon — who was best known for creating the 1970s comedy series All in the Family —

didn’t shy away from touching on tough topics in his TV material.

“He was able to tackle and discuss heated political conversations during difficult and charged times and we were able to laugh and learn. I yearn for those days,” Aniston continued. “When creativity was a learning tool and could inspire people to maybe think just a little bit differently. And of course to laugh. Our greatest source of healing.”

She remembered Lear as “the kindest and gentlest man,” recalling how he made people feel like they were “the only one in the room.”

“He made everyone feel this,” she explained. “Even when someone believed differently than him. That’s what made life and people interesting to him. To have discussions and really take in how people felt and hear their point of view. He knew how to give voice to all sides and somehow in the process bring people closer together.”

She concluded her tribute, “May we take a page from Norman’s playbook as a way of honoring his life. An extraordinary life. Rest in peace, Norman. It was a gift to stand in your light.”

Aniston also shared several photos of Lear on her Instagram Story, including a shot capturing the TV legend regaling a group of people — Aniston among them — at a dinner party. Another image showed Aniston and Lear sitting at a table with their arms around each other.

“Norman lived a life in awe of the world around him. He marveled at his cup of coffee every morning, the shape of the tree outside his window, and the sounds of beautiful music,” the post continued.

“But it was people — those he just met and those he knew for decades — who kept his mind and heart forever young,” the caption read. “As we celebrate his legacy and reflect on the next chapter of life without him, we would like to thank everyone for all the love and support.”