Ed Asner Cause of Death

Ed Asner Cause of Death

Synonymous with television excellence, Ed Asner left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Best known for his role as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off “Lou Grant,” Asner’s career spanned several decades and showcased his versatility as an actor. This article provides an in-depth look at Ed Asner’s life, career, Ed Asner cause of death, and enduring legacy.

Full NameEdward David Asner
Date of BirthNovember 15, 1929
Date of DeathAugust 29, 2021
Age at Death91 years old
Cause of DeathNatural causes
Height5 feet 7 inches (170 cm)
CareerActor, voice actor, activist
Notable RolesLou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant”, voice of Carl Fredricksen in “Up”
Awards7 Primetime Emmy Awards, 5 Golden Globe Awards, SAG Life Achievement Award
EducationUniversity of Chicago
Personal LifeMarried twice, four children
ActivismActive in political and social causes, including labor unions and progressive politics
Other Notable WorksVoice roles in animation, including “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” and “Freakazoid!”

Early Life and Background

·        Childhood and Family

Yitzhak Edward Asner, the future Ed Asner, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 15, 1929. He came from a Jewish home where there were five children in total. His parents, Lizzie (née Seliger) and Morris David Asner, were immigrants from Russia. Asner’s upbringing in an Orthodox Jewish household profoundly influenced his worldview and work ethic.

·        Education

Asner attended Wyandotte High School in Kansas City and later enrolled at the University of Chicago. Initially studying journalism, he quickly found his passion for acting and joined the university’s drama program. His early experiences in community theatre paved the way for his professional career.

Career Overview

·        Early Career

Ed Asner’s professional acting career began in the 1950s. He moved to New York City and performed with the renowned Playwrights Theatre Company. His early work included numerous stage productions and a variety of television roles, showcasing his range as an actor.

·        Breakthrough Role: Lou Grant

Asner’s big break came in 1970 when he was cast as Lou Grant, the gruff yet lovable news director on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” His portrayal of Lou Grant was both critically acclaimed and beloved by audiences. The character was so popular that it led to a spin-off, “Lou Grant,” in 1977, where Asner’s character transitioned from a sitcom to a serious drama, reflecting the changing landscape of television journalism.

·        Notable Roles and Projects

Beyond “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant,” Ed Asner had a prolific career in film and television. He lent his voice to the beloved character Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s “Up,” which introduced him to a new generation of fans. His filmography includes roles in “Elf,” “JFK,” and “Roots,” among many others. Asner also guest-starred in numerous television series, from “E.R.” to “The X-Files.”

Personal Life

·        Marriages and Children

Ed Asner was married twice. His first marriage was to Nancy Sykes in 1959, and the couple had three children: twins Matthew and Liza and a younger son, Charles. They divorced in 1988. Asner’s second marriage was to Cindy Gilmore in 1998, which ended in separation in 2007 and divorce in 2015.

·        Advocacy and Activism

Asner was an outspoken advocate for various social and political causes. He served as the Screen Actors Guild president from 1981 to 1985, using his platform to address issues such as labor rights and freedom of speech. Asner was also a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy, particularly during the Reagan administration, and supported numerous humanitarian causes.

Awards and Honors

Ed Asner won seven Primetime Emmy Awards, making him one of the most awarded male actors in Emmy history. Five of these awards were for his portrayal of Lou Grant—three for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and two for “Lou Grant.” His other Emmys were for his performances in “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Roots.”

In addition to his Emmys, Asner received numerous other accolades throughout his career. He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1996. Asner also received a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2001, recognizing his contributions to the entertainment industry and advocacy work.

Height and Physical Appearance

Ed Asner stood 5 feet 7 inches tall (170 cm). His stocky build and distinctive, gravelly voice became trademarks of his on-screen persona. Asner’s physical presence added depth to his portrayals, making characters like Lou Grant memorable and relatable.

Ed Asner Cause of Death

·        Final Years

In his later years, Ed Asner remained active in the entertainment industry, taking on roles in both film and television. Despite advancing, he continued to work tirelessly, driven by his passion for acting.

·        Passing

Ed Asner passed away on August 29, 2021, at 91. His death was attributed to natural causes, reflecting a life well-lived and a career that continued until his final days. Asner’s passing marked the end of an era, but his legacy endures through his extensive work and impact on the entertainment industry.

Influence on Television

Ed Asner’s portrayal of Lou Grant redefined the role of television journalists and set a new standard for character-driven storytelling in sitcoms and dramas. His ability to seamlessly transition between comedy and drama was groundbreaking, and his influence can be seen in many of today’s television shows.

Remembered by Peers and Fans

Following his death, tributes poured in from across the entertainment industry. Colleagues and fans remembered Asner for his talent, generosity, and unwavering commitment to his craft. His contributions to television, film, and social causes have left a lasting legacy.

Posthumous Recognitions

Since his passing, Ed Asner has been honored with various posthumous awards and recognitions. His life and career continue to be celebrated through retrospectives and tributes, ensuring his contributions to the entertainment industry are not forgotten.


Ed Asner’s life and career were marked by extraordinary achievements and a steadfast dedication to his craft. From his iconic role as Lou Grant to his voice work in “Up,” Asner’s versatility and talent made him a beloved figure in Hollywood. His advocacy for social and political causes further underscored his commitment to improving the world. As we reflect on his legacy, Ed Asner remains an enduring symbol of excellence in the entertainment industry, and his contributions will continue to inspire future generations of actors and activists.

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Who was Ed Asner?

Ed Asner was an acclaimed American actor and activist best known for his role as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off, “Lou Grant.” He had a prolific career in television, film, and voice acting, spanning several decades.

When and where was Ed Asner born?

Ed Asner was born on November 15, 1929, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

What are some of Ed Asner’s most notable roles?

Ed Asner is best known for playing Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant.” He also voiced Carl Fredricksen in the animated film “Up” and had roles in “Roots,” “Rich Man, Poor Man,” “Elf,” and numerous other television series and movies.

How many Emmy Awards did Ed Asner win?

Ed Asner won seven Primetime Emmy Awards, making him one of the most awarded male actors in Emmy history.

What were Ed Asner’s contributions to the Screen Actors Guild?

Ed Asner served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985. He advocated for labor rights, freedom of speech, and protecting actors’ interests during his tenure.