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Alda, Lear honored at 40th International Emmys
Murphy said he recently asked Lear in a telephone conversation if he had any advice for him. "He paused ... and he said, 'Keep fighting.' And Norman, I want to tell you I am doing just that."
At the end of the ceremony, Murphy returned to the stage to give the special awards to Lear and Alda. In accepting his award, Alda, who played the wise-cracking, anti-authoritarian Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, said Lear opened the door for a show like "M.A.S.H," because on "All in the Family" he showed that "now we could be funny about things that were serious."
Alda, the only person ever to win U.S. Emmys for acting, writing and directing in the same series, said "M.A.S.H." owed a special debt to the Korean War veterans who shared their personal stories.
"These are the people who really lived through the stories we told decades later — the men and women in those hospital tents who went through the cold of winter and the blood and the pain, the loneliness, and seeing their patients die, some of who were only a couple of years away from being children," Alda said.
Lear, who met Murphy for the first time in person at a luncheon earlier in the day, said he felt deeply that "the world needs to come together and will come together through the arts." Reeling off a list of present-day shows from "Homeland" and "Mad Men" to "Modern Family" and "The New Normal," he observed that "this is the golden age of television."
Lear, now 90, couldn't resist the chance to plug a new script he had written about elderly people in a retirement home, but said no networks were interested in the "missing demographic" of those 55 to 105. He said he wanted to title the show "Guess Who Died."
The other Emmy winners included France's police drama "Braquo_Season 2," about a group of Parisian cops who circumvent the law, using violence and intimidation, for best drama series; Germany's "Songs of War," in which "Sesame Street" composer Christopher Cerf explores the relationship between music and violence after learning his songs had been used to torture prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, for arts programming; and "The Amazing Race Australia" for non-scripted entertainment.
Six International Emmys for children's programming will be presented at a new awards ceremony on Feb. 8 in New York.
Korean entertainer J.Y. Park presented the honorary International Emmy Directorate Award to Kim In-kyu, president of the Korean Broadcasting System. In taped introductory remarks, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recalled how he met Kim more than 20 years ago when they were both working in Washington, and described the broadcaster as "a man of vision committed to a deepening broader understanding of Korea and sharing Korea's timeless stories across Asia and around the world."