Legendary entertainer Ed Asner passed away on Sunday at the age of 91. According to Asner’s publicist, he passed away Sunday morning of natural causes in Los Angeles. Asner was surrounded by his family during the time of his passing.
Asner’s Career: Asner is best known for his role as the grumpy yet lovable newsman Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” premiering in 1970. This character was so popular that it was turned into its own spinoff called “Lou Grant.” This one-hour drama ran from 1977 to 1982.
Asner’s Awards: Asner was awarded five Emmy Awards for playing Grant. Three of these awards were for the best supporting actor in a comedy series for “Mary Tyler Moore” while two were for his role as the lead actor in a drama in “Lou Grant.” Asner also won two additional Emmys, one for his role in the 1976 mini-series “Rich Man, Poor Man” and another for the “Roots” miniseries in 1977.
Later Career: Even after “Lou Grant” was canceled, he continued to appear in some of the most popular movies and television series of the time. This includes appearances in “ER,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “The Good Wife,” “Grace and Frankie,” and “Modern Family.” Most recently, Asner appeared in “Cobra Kai.” Asner is also known for his ability to play a great Santa Claus, including in the hit 2003 movie “Elf.”
Asner’s Personal Life: Asner was born to Orthodox Jewish immigrants in Kansas City, Missouri. He launched his career in entertainment during his high school years by performing in a weekly radio program. After serving in the military, Asner moved to Chicago where he performed on Broadway. He later made the move to California so that he could chase his Hollywood dream.
Asner was first married to Nancy Sykes from 1959 to 1988. The pair had three children, including twins Matthew and Liza, and Kate. He later had a child named Charles with Carol Jean Vogelman.
Asner married again when he tied the knot with producer Cindy Gilmore in 1998. The two divorced in 2015.