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Edward Asner

Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe actor/activist ED ASNER. He is perhaps best known for his comedic and dramatic crossover as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV newsroom comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show and continued in the newspaper-set drama Lou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards. Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots. His prolific and much honored acting career demonstrates a consummate ability to transcend the line between comedy and drama.

One of the most honored actors in the history of television, Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe Awards, and served as national president of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996. Asner received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild's Hollywood membership. In March 2002, he was again honored by the Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession.

In addition to his professional versatility, Asner has consistently served and committed himself to the rights of the working performer in addition to advocating for human rights, world peace, environmental preservation and political freedom. A passionate and informed spokesperson for the causes he supports, Asner is a frequent speaker on labor issues and a particular ally for the acting industry's older artists. Some of the many honors he has received throughout his career include the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, The Eugene Debs Award, Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, ACLU's Worker's Right's Committee Award and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.

Asner has more than 100 TV credits, which include starring in the series Off the Rack, The Bronx Zoo and Thunder Alley. Numerous guest appearances include roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm, ER, Arliss, The Practice and a recurring role on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Besides commercials and numerous books on tape, he has lent his voice to popular cartoon shows such as The Simpsons, Spiderman and Boondocks. Asner's dozens of motion pictures include They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, Fort Apache the Bronx, JFK and the European production of Giovanni XXIII—the highest-rated television miniseries in the history of Italian TV—as well as the box-office hit Elf with Will Farrell and James Caan. Asner has done several Hallmark movies and was nominated for another Emmy for The Christmas Card.

He recently completed filming for Gigantic, with John Goodman and Jane Alexander; Generation Gap for the Hallmark channel; and an episode of CSI: NY.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Edward Asner Facts

Birth NameYitzak Edward Asner
OccupationActor
BirthdayNovember 15, 1929 (87)
SignScorpio
BirthplaceKansas City, Missouri, USA
Awards2002 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Life Achievement Award
1980 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Television Series - Drama (for Lou Grant)
1978 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Television Series - Drama (for Lou Grant)

Selected Filmography

Too Big To Fail
All Of My Heart
Identical
Mary Tyler Moore Seasons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1-7 Complete Series
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Season 6
Hard Rain
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season
Roots
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Season 3
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