Edward Asner was an American actor who had a distinguished career in film, television, and theatre. He was one of the most respected actors with a career that spanned over seven decades. Mr. Edward passed away on August 29, 2021 at the age of 91 years old.
Mr. Asner was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 15th, 1928. He began acting in an amateur theater group when he was just 11 years old. At the age of 17 his family relocated to Chicago where Mr. Asner attended the University of Chicago before enrolling in its law school. It is during this time that he began acting in a professional theater company and became a member of the Co-op Theater.
His first television appearance came on a 1950 episode of “Pulitzer Prize Playhouse”. He made his film debut 3 years later in the 1953 western, The Kansas City Massacre. During this time he was also working as a radio announcer for Armed Forces Radio. In the 1960s Mr. Asner played a James Bond-type character in a television pilot called “Callan”. He is also known for his Emmy Award winning role as Lou Grant on Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin off, Lou Grant (1977-1982).
Mr. Asner was offered the role of Superman during the show’s second season but turned it down due to the low salary offered by producers.
After receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree in 1981 from Lewis University, Mr. Asner began teaching theater at Southern Illinois University and was eventually promoted to head of the theater department. He stayed there until his retirement in 1996.
Mr. Asner was married to Nancy Sykes from 1955-1976. He has 3 children with Sykes and one daughter, Rachel, with his second wife Jean Asner (née Slate).
Mr. Asner passed away peacefully at his home in Brentwood, CA on August 29th, 2021 after a long battle with Pneumonia. He is survived by his 4 children.
Mr. Asner was an outspoken critic of U.S policies and President Donald Trump during his final months on earth, he is quoted as saying “America has lost the leadership role it held throughout the 20th Century”. He also went further to say “I can’t remember a time when the country was more divided and our future looked less bright.”
The world has lost an incredible talent. He was one of the best and I for one will never forget his work. Mr. Asner is survived by his 4 children, Michael (born in 1956), twins Matthew and Liza (born in 1959) and Sarah Kate (born in 1961).
Statement from his children: “Our father was a kind and generous man, beloved by so many. We will miss him dearly.”
Mr. Asner is also survived by his 3 grandchildren, Emily, John and Spencer.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful doctors and nurses who have been taking care of Mr. Asner the past few years.