Entertainment News: Ed Asner, Eternally Lou Grant, Dies at 91

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CHICAGO – Meeting Ed Asner is like meeting the grumpy uncle that you still love, because you know despite his curmudgeon nature, his has passion, spunk and delivers all of it in many ways. He was Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show most famously in the 1970s, but his other acting pursuits were just as significant.

Edward Asner was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He began his acting career in the Army, touring in plays while in the Signal Corp. He attended the University of Chicago, and joined an early version of The Second City troupe, the Playwrights Theatre Company of Chicago (Asner is considered a Second City alumni). He was a consummate character actor in the 1960s, appearing in such diverse series as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Route 66,” “The Untouchables,” “The Outer Limits,” “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and “Mission: Impossible.”

Ed Asner in Chicago, circa March of 2017
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

His recognition breakthrough came in the 1970s with the role of Lou Grant on CBS-TV’s “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” – but he also appeared in the famous miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Roots” during the same decade – and he also has a footnote in TV history by transferring the Lou Grant character from a comedy sitcom to a one hour drama. That show lasted for five seasons before being cancelled, in part due to Asner’s progressive political positions, which clashed with CBS executives. He won seven Emmys, after being nominated 20 times.

He has worked steadily since the cancellation of Lou Grant, even doing recent recurring and regular roles in series like “Dead to Me” and “Cobra Kai.” He also has done many notable voiceover roles in TV (“The Boondocks,” “Superman: The Animated Series,” Spider-Man: The Animated Series,” and “The Cleveland Show”) and film (the Pixar Studio animated box office hit, “Up” as Carl Fredricksen). His work in front of the camera has included “Elf” (2003), the HBO film “Too Big to Fail” (2011), plus roles on “Hot in Cleveland” (2012) and “The Good Wife” (2015). Astoundingly, his imdb page lists 17 projects in the can and upcoming for 2021-22.

Ed Asner Was Still Smokin’ at Age 87 in 2017
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

The following is a beautiful compilation of my two interviews with Ed Asner, still in his prime of truth. I can’t think of a better way to honor the man.

Sources for this article were from imdb.com and wikipedia.com. Ed Asner, 1929-2021

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2021 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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