People For the American Way Foundation board members and staff offer heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Jonathan Demme, an Oscar-winning director and a friend to the organization since its inception. Demme died at his home this morning at age 73.
“There’s never been a better man or a greater soul,” said People For the American Way Foundation founder Norman Lear.
In 1981, Lear produced and Demme directed a set of television ads featuring Muhammad Ali, Carol Burnett, Goldie Hawn, and people on the street talking about their taste in music, sports and eggs. The ads celebrated “freedom of thought, the right to have and express your own opinions.” [See ads below.]
“We are grateful that Jonathan Demme used his talents to support People For the American Way’s work on behalf of freedom of expression at a crucial time,” said People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan. “We extend our sympathy to his family, friends, and fans.”