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Ed Asner, Star of TV, Film and Stage, Has Died

Ed Asner attends the Television Academy's 25th Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Saban Media Center on January 28, 2020 in North Hollywood, California.
Ed Asner attends the Television Academy's 25th Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Saban Media Center on January 28, 2020 in North Hollywood, California. (Image credit: Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Ed Asner, longtime star of TV, movies and Broadway, died Aug. 29. Owner of seven Emmys, five of them for playing Lou Grant, Asner was 91. 

Born in Kansas City in 1929, Asner attended the University of Chicago, but left early to pursue an acting career. He was in the Army from 1951 to 1953. 

Asner then relocated to New York, where he did stage and TV work, and moved to California in 1961, reported the New York Times

Asner was 40 when he was approached about playing Lou Grant, newsroom chief at WJM on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The program ran on CBS from 1970 to 1977, and Asner won Emmys in 1971, 1972 and 1975. He won two more for playing the lead in spinoff Lou Grant, which saw Grant run a newspaper, making Asner the first actor to get Emmys for playing the same character in a comedy and a drama. 

Lou Grant ran on CBS from 1977 to 1982. 

Asner also picked up Emmys for his work in 1976 mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and 1977 mini-series Roots

Asner was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985. His Broadway work includes Born Yesterday and Grace, and his film roles include Up, Elf and JFK

More recently on television, Asner appeared in The Good Wife, The Middle, Grace and Frankie, Dead to Me and Cobra Kai. He was busy with work until his death, appearing in an episode of The Premise, an anthology drama that premieres on FX on Hulu Sept.16. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.