Legendary actor and icon Ed Asner passed away peacefully Sunday morning, surrounded by his family. Hey 91.
Asner is best known for his role in both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off Lou Grant, achieving the rare feat of playing the same character in both a comedy and drama series. His most recent television roles included Bows on Netflix. Cobra Kai, playing Johnny Lawrence’s (William Zabka) stepfather, Sid Weinberg; Grace and Frankie; and dead to me.
In film, Asner had several high-profile roles, including that of Santa Claus in Eleven and making us shed several tears by voicing Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s Oscar-winning film UNTIL. Asner’s other extensive resume includes providing Joshua’s voices on Joshua and the Battle of Jericho (1986) for Hanna-Barbera, J. Jonah Jameson in the Spiderman series (1994-98), Hoggish Greedly in Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990-95), Roland Daggett in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-94), Ed Wuncler in The boondocks (2005-14) and Granny Goodness in various DC animated series.
Asner, who was the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, was born on November 15, 1929 in Kansas City. He began his acting career on stage and helped found the Playwrights Theater Company in Chicago, which was the predecessor to The Second City. In 1970, Asner triumphed playing Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. When the series ended in 1977, Asner continued to play the role in the spin-off. Lou grant which lasted until 1982. Asner was also a series regular on Thunder alley, The Bronx Zoo and Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. He also featured acclaimed performances in two very popular miniseries, Estate other Rich man, Poor man, which earned him the Emmy Awards. Asner also holds the distinction of being the most awarded male artist in Emmys history with a staggering seven wins.
As president of the SAG from 1981 to 1985, Asner opposed American policy in Central America and his decades of political activism also include his support for the efforts to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the movement to establish a health care program for California One Care single payer. The Ed Asner Family Center, which was opened in 2017 by his son Matt Asner and daughter-in-law Navah Paskowitz Asner, provides counseling services, support groups, enrichment programs and camps for people with special needs and their families.