Legendary Hollywood writer/producer Norman Lear will return to Greenfield on Saturday, Dec. 13, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the filming of his comedy “Cold Turkey” in the southwest Iowa town. Lear will be the guest of honor at the Celebrate Iowa Gala, to be held Friday evening, Dec. 12, at the State Historical Museum, presented by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
“Welcome Back to Greenfield, Norman Lear” will be held at the Warren Cultural Center, the restored 1896 opera house located at 154 Public Square. Doors open at 9 am; Mr. Lear is scheduled to arrive and the program will begin at 10 a.m.
He will be reading excerpts from his new book and will take part in a Q&A session. Other elements of the program are being developed in conjunction with Produce Iowa- State Office of Media Production.
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees will be invited to write their Cold Turkey memories into a scrapbook for Lear. “Cold Turkey” movie props will also be on display in the lobby gallery of the Center.
The 92-year-old Lear has spoken fondly of his time in Iowa during the summer of 1969, including references in his recently released memoir, entitled “Even This I Get to Experience.” He was named an Honorary Iowan in 1999, when he returned to Greenfield with other stars, including Dick Van Dyke, Tom Poston, and Jean Stapleton, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie. Lear also produced many hit television shows, including “The Andy Williams Show”, “All in the Family,” and “The Jeffersons,” and other classic films, such as “The Princess Bride” and “Stand by Me.”
“Cold Turkey” tells the story of a small town – Eagle Rock, Iowa – that takes up the challenge for all its residents to quit smoking for one month to win a $25 million prize. Many scenes were filmed on the Greenfield square and throughout town, as well as locations in Winterset, Orient, and Des Moines.
Additional information on Mr. Lear’s return to Greenfield will be available on the Center’s website, www.warrenculturalcenter.com, and on its Facebook page.
The DCA’s ‘Celebrate Iowa’ Gala will be 7-11 p.m., Friday, Dec. 12, at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines. Visit www.culturalaffairs.org/gala or contact DCA at HistoricalGala@iowa.gov or 515-281-8352 for more information.