Actor Ed Asner, TV's Blustery Lou Grant, Dies at 91

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Ed Asner, the burly and prolific quality histrion who became a prima successful mediate property arsenic the gruff but lovable newsman Lou Grant, archetypal successful the deed drama “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and aboriginal successful the play “Lou Grant,” has died. He was 91.

Asner's typical confirmed the actor's decease successful an email to The Associated Press. Asner's official Twitter relationship included a note from his children: “We are atrocious to accidental that our beloved patriarch passed distant this greeting peacefully. Words cannot explicit the sadness we feel. With a buss connected your head- Goodnight dad. We emotion you.”

We are atrocious to accidental that our beloved patriarch passed distant this greeting peacefully. Words cannot explicit the sadness we feel. With a buss connected your head- Goodnight dad. We emotion you.

— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) August 29, 2021

Built similar the shot lineman helium erstwhile was, the balding Asner was a journeyman histrion successful films and TV erstwhile helium was hired successful 1970 to play Lou Grant connected "The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” For 7 seasons helium was the rumpled brag to Moore’s ebullient Mary Richards (He called her “Mary,” she called him “Mr. Grant”) astatine the fictional Minneapolis TV newsroom wherever some worked. Later, helium would play the relation for 5 years connected “Lou Grant.”

The portion brought Asner 3 champion supporting histrion Emmys connected “Mary Tyler Moore” and 2 champion histrion awards connected “Lou Grant.” He besides won Emmys for his roles successful the miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man” (1975-1976) and “Roots” (1976-1977).

He had much than 300 acting credits and remained progressive passim his 70s and 80s successful a assortment of movie and TV roles. In 2003, helium played Santa Claus successful Will Ferrell’s deed movie “Elf.” He was John Goodman’s begetter successful the short-lived 2004 CBS drama “Center of the Universe” and the dependable of the aged leader successful the deed 2009 Pixar release, “Up.” More recently, helium was successful specified TV bid arsenic “Forgive Me” and “Dead to Me.”

Nonetheless, Asner told The Associated Press successful 2009 that absorbing roles were hard to travel by.

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“I ne'er get capable work,” helium said. “It’s the past of my career. There conscionable isn’t thing to crook down, fto maine enactment it that way.”

“I’d accidental astir radical are astir apt successful that aforesaid boat, aged people, and it’s a shame,” helium said.

As Screen Actors Guild president, the wide Asner was caught up successful a governmental contention successful 1982 erstwhile helium spoke retired against U.S. engagement with repressive governments successful Latin America. “Lou Grant” was canceled during the furor that followed and helium did not tally for a 3rd SAG word successful 1985.

Asner discussed his politicization successful a 2002 interview, noting helium had begun his vocation during the McCarthy epoch and for years had been acrophobic to talk retired for fearfulness of being blacklisted.

Then helium saw a nun’s movie depicting the cruelties inflicted by El Salvador’s authorities connected that country’s citizens.

“I stepped retired to kick astir our country’s changeless arming and fortifying of the subject successful El Salvador, who were oppressing their people,” helium said.

Former SAG President Charlton Heston and others accused him of making un-American statements and of misusing his presumption arsenic caput of their actors union.

“We adjacent had weaponry threats astatine the time. I had equipped guards,” Asner recalled.

The histrion blamed the contention for ending the five-year tally of “Lou Grant," though CBS insisted declining ratings were the crushed the amusement was canceled.


Late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical accusation to this report.

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