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Actor Ed Asner, Known for the MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and UP, Dies at 91

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Actor Ed Asner, Known for the MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and UP, Dies at 91

By Movieguide® Staff

Ed Asner, who is most famous for his role as the newsman Lou Grant on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, died on Aug. 29, at the age of 91.

Charles Sherman, Asner’s publicist, shared that the actor and comedian’s family was present in Los Angeles.

The news was also shared on Asner’s Twitter account.

“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” the post reads. “Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.”

Not only was Asner a beloved actor, but he also presided as president of the Screen Actors Guild for a time and earned seven Emmys for his performances on TV.

Others in the acting community shared memories of Asner and honored his legacy in entertainment.

Josh Gad, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and FROZEN, shared a tribute on Twitter Asner’s role in the award-winning Pixar movie UP.

“I am heartbroken to say goodbye to our friend #EdAsner who graced #CentralParkTV as the voice of Bitsy’s brother Ambrose,” Gad wrote, along with a picture of his voice acted character Carl Frederickson. “He was a Legend, a beautiful soul and a truly brilliant actor. Love you sir! We will miss down here, but smiling that you are have fittingly gone Up.”

Michael McKean said: “Ed Asner was a fine man and a great actor. He was tough in the ways that count and suffered no fools. I acted with him just once and knew how lucky I was to do so. A hero. Rest in peace, Ed.”

Aside from 2009’s UP, Asner is known for his role as Santa in ELF and Bart Jason in EL DORADO.

However, Asner’s time as Grant on the MARY TYLER MOORE, which premiered in 1970, earned the actor five of his seven Emmy awards. Even after Lou Grant’s character was canceled, Asner appeared in many television shows like ER, MODERN FAMILY, COBRA KAI, and X-FILES.

Asner, a child of Orthodox Jewish immigrants, first became interested in acting through a radio program put on by his High School in Kansas City where he grew up. After serving in the military, Asner performed on Broadway in Chicago and then moved to California to pursue acting on-screen.

Regrettably, Ed Asner was an extreme advocate for Marxism, as note in The Bloomberg article, “Ed Asner, ‘Lou Grant’ Star Who Took on Ronald Reagan, Dies at 91” By David Henry, August 29, 2021, 12:10 PM PDT:

Asner’s public support for providing medical aid to rebels fighting the U.S.-backed regime in El Salvador in the early 1980s led to the show’s demise. Sponsors Kimberly-Clark, Vidal Sassoon and Cadbury withdrew their advertisements from the program, and “Lou Grant” was canceled two weeks later. The actor, who traveled with bodyguards after receiving death threats over the issue, attributed the network’s decision to Chairman William Paley’s close relationship to President Reagan.

“Most insiders seem to think that the show would not have been canceled had it not been for the controversy that arose over my stand on El Salvador,” Asner said in an interview with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. “I thought at the time that I’d never work again.”

A member of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, Asner also picketed with 11,000 striking air-traffic-control workers in 1981 in their dispute with the Reagan administration over more pay and a reduced 32-hour working week. He was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in the same year and served in that role until 1985. The guild had been a springboard for Reagan, who was SAG president for seven terms, in his future political career as California governor and U.S. president.

When asked in a 2010 interview with the Progressive magazine about what he thought about socialism, Asner said, “I think we need more of it.”

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.