Inside Norman Lear’s marriage to wife Frances & how she inspired hit show Maude before record-setting $110m divorce

EMMY Award-winning producer Norman Lear has been married three times and one of his wives claims to have contributed greatly to his career.

Norman Lear and Frances Loeb were married for 28 years before they divorced, resulting in a $110million settlement that she benefitted from.

Seasoned producer Lear is responsible for several classic TV sitcoms, such as Good Times and All in the Family.

He got his start in the 1950s as a comedy writer for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis' NBC radio show.

The next decade saw Lear draft episodes of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, as well as the Henry Fonda western series The Deputy.

He wrote the 1967 film Divorce American Style, which starred Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds, and produced a variety of popular shows that include the Bea Arthur vehicle Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, and Archie Bunker's Place.

His second wife Frances was quick to say that she served as the inspiration for Norman's shows and characters.

''I was very much a part of his thinking,'' she told The New York Times. ''Norman could not have done his shows without me.''

Frances was widely believed to have inspired the title character on the hit show Maude, played by Arthur. But their marriage wasn't always smooth sailing.