Ed Asner, a prolific actor and philanthropist, has passed away at the age of 91. The news was confirmed by a tweet to Asner's official Twitter account, revealing that the actor passed away peacefully on the morning of Sunday, August 29th. Asner is known for his decades-long career as an actor, which has led to him being the most honored male performer in history at the Primetime Emmy Awards, winning seven acting achievements overall. He also served as the President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985. His credits include playing Lou Grant across the Mary Tyler Moore Show franchise, voicing Carl Fredericksen in Disney/Pixar's Up, and portraying Santa in 2003's Elf.
We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) August 29, 2021
Born Eddie Asner on November 15, 1929 in Kansas City, Missouri, Asner attended the University of Chicago and served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps, appearing in plays that toured in Army camps. After his stint in the army, Asner helped found Chicago's Playwrights Theatre Company, one of the precursors to the iconic Second City. Asner made his television debut in 1957 on Studio One, and guest-starred in a number of television series and television movies across the 1960s. Among Asner's best-known roles is that of Lou Grant, the boss of the titular character, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which scored him a total of five Emmy wins. When the flagship series ended in 1977, Asner would go on to star in his own Lou Grant spinoff series until 1982, and would ultimately hold the honor of winning an Emmy Award for playing the same role in both a comedy and a drama. Asner would also win Emmys for his work on Roots and Rich Man, Poor Man.
Asner would continue to have a prolific career in the decades that followed, earning a whole new generation of fans thanks to his roles in projects like Elf and Up. Outside of Up, he also lent his voice to a number of memorable projects, including Gargoyles, W.I.T.C.H., The Boondocks, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. His most recent work included appearances on Grace and Frankie and Cobra Kai.
Asner's career included multiple portrayals of comic book characters, voicing Roland Daggett in five episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Granny Goodness in Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, Doctor Fate in Young Justice, Perry White in All-Star Superman, Sgt. Mike Cosgrove in Freakazoid!, Officer Barr in Spider-Man, and multiple characters in Captain Planet and the Planeteers. He also portrayed a hospital patient in a Season 2 episode of Doom Patrol.
Our thoughts are with Asner's family, friends, and fans at this time.