Actor Ed Asner, American television icon, has died

Actor Ed Asner has died at 91 (Photo by Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic)

Actor Ed Asner, an American television icon and winner of seven Emmy Awards, died peacefully Sunday morning, his representative announced.. He was 91 years old. A statement from Asner’s family on his Twitter account confirmed his death

“We regret to report that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning in peace. Words cannot express the sadness we feel”Said the family of the renowned interpreter in a message on the aforementioned social network. “Good night father. We love you”.

“He was a brilliant actor. Incredible activist, a true friend and a great man, “said the actor’s manager, Perry Zimel.

Asner won five Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show“And then by the spin-off” Lou Grant “between 1971 and 1980. He also triumphed in 1976 for his lead role” Rich Man, Poor Man “, and his supporting role in” Roots “in 1977.

Ed Asner at the premiere of "UP" en 2009 (Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic)
Ed Asner en la premiere de “UP” en 2009 (Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic)

Asner had a long and prolific career in film and television, with the distinction of being the most honored male performer in Emmys history. He was nominated 17 times throughout his career, winning seven trophies in total.. It was also nominated 11 times for the Golden Globes, winning five.

Edward Asner was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 15, 1929. He attended the University of Chicago after high school and worked on the General Motors assembly line for a time before serving in the United States Army. During his time in Europe, Asner would act in plays. After his military service, he helped found the Playwrights Theater Company in Chicago.

He began dabbling in comedy groups like Second City before landing his first Broadway role opposite Jack Lemmon in “Face of a Hero” in 1960. He made his television debut around the same time, in an episode of the series “Studio One. ”. He made memorable appearances in the early 1960s on shows like “The Outer Limits” and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” and in 1962 he made his feature film debut in the Elvis Presley film “Kid Galahad.”

Ed Asner (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)
Ed Asner (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)

Asner appeared on numerous television shows, and with the advent of the 1970s came the role that would make him a household name. In 1970 he made his debut as Lou Grant, news director of the fictional television station WJM-TV, on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Grant would appear on the series until 1977 before landing his own spin-off, “Lou Grant,” from 1977 to 1982. He was nominated for an Emmy almost every season the show aired.

He also received an Emmy for his role in the adaptation of the 1977 television show “Roots,” which he would follow with another award-winning performance in “Rich Man, Poor Man.”

Asner was also known as a voice interpreter. He voiced in the cartoons “Spider-Man,” “Captain Planet,” “Gargoyles,” and on various “Star Wars” shows. Children know him for his Lou Grant-style role in Pixar’s “Up” (2009).

In recent years, the actor had not slowed down his work rate; in 2018 he participated in the black comedy directed by Christina Applegate “Dead to Me”On Netflix. Asner voiced Carl on the Pixar series “Dug Days,” airing September 1 on Disney +.

Asner guest-starred in the Karate Kid sequel “Cobra Kai,” playing Johnny Lawrence’s wealthy stepfather. He also appeared on the show Grace and Frankie. Before his death, the actor completed more than five projects, including the films “A Fargo Christmas Story” and “Awaken.” His most recent project was the movie “Deadly Draw,” which is still being filmed.

Off screen, Asner also served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild during the 1980s and was a fervent political activist; he described himself in 2017 as a “old lefty”. The actor argued that the cancellation of “Lou Grant” was due to his political convictions. He also served on the board of directors of the Survivor Mitzvah Project, providing aid to Holocaust survivors in Europe. Together with his family in 2017 he created the Ed Asner Family Center, to help children with special needs and their families.

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