He was 91.
“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” his family said in a statement through his Twitter account. “Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.”
Asner won seven Emmy Awards, five for playing the crusty Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and later on his own “Lou Grant.” He was the only actor to win
The Lou Grant persona, a character who camouflaged his emotions with a gruff exterior, sometimes overshadowed Asner’s other acclaimed work. That included Emmy-winning roles as slave ship master
Asner made headlines for his political activism, including high-profile campaigns to free American journalist and activist
His activism “created a conflict which eventually led to a good deal of controversy and I think achieved the cancellation of the ‘Lou Grant’ show,” Asner told Canadian radio station CJAD in a 1995 interview. He thought
When he saw the script for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” he said, “I knew it was a winner. This was gold.” He said he drew on various people he knew, including his brother, to play the demanding and often-exasperated Grant, who had to manage a newsroom that included Moore and a wacky group of coworkers.
The followup drama “Lou Grant” put his character in a more serious world, though with many of the same temperament issues and some flaws, including a drinking problem. Generally busy as an actor, he suggested his political activism limited his opportunities.
”There’s still some resistance to putting me in movies,” he said in 1995. He often joked that he was considered Hollywood’s “resident communist.”
His later roles included a 2012 episode of “Hawaii Five-O,” reprising the August March role he had created on the original incarnation of the show in 1975. He frequently did voiceover work, most prominently as
He had more than a dozen projects in various forms of production when he died.
Asner maintained his activism and was a long-time worker with
“To know Ed, even a little, was a privilege,”
“A total mensch,” wrote
Asner was married to
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