Ed Asner, the iconic Hollywood legend notably known for his work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and, more recently, the Disney tear-jerker Up, has passed away at the age of 91, just three months shy of his 92nd Birthday.
His immediate family sent out a heartfelt public tweet earlier today announcing Ed Asner’s passing on his official Twitter account. See the tweet below.
Ed Asner was born on November 15, 1929, and was a native to Kansas City, Missouri. He grew up the son of Lizzie and Morris David Asner, orthodox Jewish immigrants from Russia, and following his graduation from high school, he served in the US Army. After completing his tour of duty, Ed Asner left for Chicago and contributed to the development of the Playwrights Theatre company. Then, shortly after, in the 1950s, he went to New York City and embarked on what would become an impressive and revered seven-decade-long career.
Ed Asner began his career in theater starring in a string of off-broadway productions until he landed his first Broadway role, Face of a Hero, in 1960. It wasn’t long after that Ed Asner transitioned to television. According to Deadline, he received a record five Emmy awards for his role of Lou Grant which he first portrayed on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, followed by his own Lou Grant spin-off. While he had no idea the character would take off as well as it did, it’s one of the roles he’ll most be remembered for.
Apart from Ed Asner’s television success, Variety also detailed the time that he served as president of the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) in the early 1980s. His time serving as SAG president was controversial. This was because of his opinions that he shared candidly, making him divisive. He was inspired to vie for the role because of what happened during the SAG strike the year before he ran in 1980.
Even though he is arguably most well known for his work on television, Ed Asner’s movie and voice credits are also substantial. Amongst a plethora of others is holiday-favorite Elf, the heartwarming movie Up, and even a voice-over role on Batman: The Animated series. Then, beginning in 2016, he returned to both his personal and theater roots playing a Holocaust survivor in The Soap Myth, which ran at Bruno Walter Theater at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.
In the wake of his death, fans of Ed Asner can still look forward to seeing the legendary actor in his already completed projects, including the TV movie Scarlett set to release on December 31, 2021, and A Fargo Christmas Story, which is currently in post-production with no release window announced as of yet. Additionally, Batman: The Animated Series is now streaming on HBO Max as well as Elf, in which Ed Asner starred as Santa Claus alongside Will Ferrell.
Ed Asner has undoubtedly left behind a remarkable and unforgettable legacy. A legacy that will continue to perpetually thrive through his long list of impressive performances. He is survived by his four children Matthew, Liza, Kate, and Charles.