Ed Asner, ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Star, Dies At 91
Ed Asner, best known for playing Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died on Sunday. He was 91.
The actor’s children confirmed his death in a statement on Twitter.
“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” the post said. “Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.”
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
Asner played Lou Grant on the beloved comedy series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which premiered in 1970 and ran for seven seasons. He starred in his own spinoff, a drama titled Lou Grant, which ran for five more years, from 1977 to 1982.
Betty White, 99, is the last surviving cast member from the original series following Asner’s death. Two of the show’s other cast members, Cloris Leachman and Gavin MacLeod, died earlier this year.
Asner won seven Emmys over his career, five of which were for playing Lou Grant. He won three for best-supporting actor in a comedy series and two for best lead actor in a drama series, making him the first actor to win Emmys for the same character in both the comedy and drama categories. His other Emmy awards come from his miniseries performances as Captain Davies in Roots and Axel Jordache in Rich Man, Poor Man.
Prior to his television debut, Asner performed as a part of Chicago’s Compass Players, a predecessor of the Second City theatre troupe.
More recently, Asner had guest roles in shows including Cobra Kai, Modern Family, Grace and Frankie and The Good Wife. He also appeared in several films, including Elf, in which he played Santa, and he even lent his voice to the old man in Pixar’s Up.
Asner was also elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1981, but he did not run for re-election after he faced backlash for speaking out about the United States’ involvement with oppressive governments in Latin America. He was awarded the SAG Life Achievement Award in 2001.