Edward Asner

Edward Asner

Infobox actor
name = Edward Asner

caption = Ed Asner in 2006
birthname = Yitzhak Eddie Asner
birthdate = birth date and age|1929|11|15
location = Kansas City, Kansas, USA
yearsactive = 1957-present
spouse = Nancy Sykes (1959-1988)
Cindy Gilmore (1998-present)
emmyawards = Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series
1971 "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
1972 "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
1975 "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
1976 "Rich Man, Poor Man"
Outstanding Supporting Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
1977 "Roots"
Outstanding Lead Actor - Drama Series
1978 "Lou Grant"
1980 "Lou Grant"
goldenglobeawards = Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or TV Movie
1972 "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
1976 "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
1977 "Rich Man, Poor Man"
Best Actor - Drama Series
1978 "Lou Grant"
1980 "Lou Grant"
sagawards = Life Achievement Award
2002 Lifetime Achievement

Edward Asner (born November 15, 1929) is an American actor primarily known for his Emmy-winning role as Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spin-off series, "Lou Grant". He also appeared as a recurring guest star as Wilson White on the television series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip".


Asner was born in Kansas City, Kansas to Lizzie Seliger, a housewife, and Morris David Asner, who ran a second-hand shop. He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family.cite news | last=Zager| first =Norma| coauthors=| title =Outspoken Asner’s Activism Is No Act| work=The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles| date =2005-08-05 | url =http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=14437| accessdate =2006-12-13 ] Asner attended historic Wyandotte High School and spent many hours at the Granada movie theater in Kansas City, Kansas. Asner attended the University of Chicago and he served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Europe. [cite web | author= | title=Ed Asner | url=http://www.nndb.com/people/313/000023244 | work=Notable Names Database | date= | accessdate=2008-04-06]


Asner is best known for his character Lou Grant, who was first introduced on the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1970. In 1977, after the end of the "Mary Tyler Moore" show, Asner's character was given his own show, "Lou Grant," which ran from 1977-1982. In contrast to the "Mary Tyler Moore" show, which was a thirty minute comedy, the "Lou Grant" show was an hour long award-winning drama about journalism. Asner played the role of Guy Banister, FBI operative associated with the assassination conspiracy, in Oliver's Stone's 1991 movie "JFK".

Asner is also known for his acclaimed role as Captain Davies, from the mini-series "Roots", the man who kidnapped Kunta Kinte and sold him into slavery, a role that earned Asner an Emmy Award. While Asner's character in "Roots" was highly developed, full of metaphors on tortured ethics and the morality of slavery, biographer Alex Haley would later admit he had no idea who the actual Captain was who had commanded the historic slaver which had kidnapped his ancestor. Asner was a member of the Playwrights Theatre Company in Chicago, but left for New York before members of that company regrouped as the Compass Players in the mid-1950s. He later made guest appearances with the successor to Compass, Second City, and is considered part of the Second City extended family. Asner has also had an extensive voice acting career. He provided the voices for J. Jonah Jameson on the 1990s animated television series ', Hudson on "Gargoyles," Jabba the Hutt on the radio version of "Star Wars", Master Vrook from ' and its , Roland Daggett on "", Cosgrove on "Freakazoid", Ed Wuncler on "The Boondocks", and Granny Goodness in various DC Comics animated series. Both he and his late friend Linda Gary voiced many cartoons for the Filmation company. In 1993, he narrated the short documentary "Legacy for Efrain," which explores the impact of the nonprofit world hunger organization Heifer International. In 2001 was the protagonist for "Papa Giovanni XXIII" fiction for Rai One (Italy). He made an appearance on the show Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2001.

Although popularly known as Ed Asner, professionally he prefers the name Edward Asner.

Political views

A vocal liberal Democrat, Asner served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, in which capacity he opposed US policy in Central America. He played a prominent role in the 1980 SAG strike.cite web | author=Michael B. Kassel | title=Asner, Ed | url=http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/A/htmlA/asnered/asnered.htm | publisher=The Museum of Broadcast Communications | date=29 November 2007 | accessdate=2008-04-06] He has also been active in a variety of other causes, such as the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and as a prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. His political position may also have motivated him to play the voice of the pig-like villain Hoggish Greedly on the pro-environmental animated series "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" and the voice for the sinister Ed Wuncler in "The Boondocks". [cite web | author= | title=Edward Asner | url=http://www.turner.com/planet/static/easner.html | work=Captain Planet | date=23 March 2001 | accessdate=2008-04-06]

The cancellation of "Lou Grant" in 1982 was the subject of much controversy. The show supposedly had ratings which would have justified its ongoing presence in primetime (it was in the ACNielsen top ten throughout its final month on the air), but the network declined to renew it. Asner has consistently contended that the publicity surrounding his political views was the real cause for the cancellation. (Howard Hesseman, who had participated with Asner in promoting a controversial medical aid for El Salvador program, found his popular show "WKRP in Cincinnati" canceled by CBS the same day.)

Asner served as the spokesman for 2004 Racism Watch. In April 2004, he wrote an open letter to "peace and justice leaders" encouraging them to demand "full 9-11 truth" through an organization called the "9-11 Visibility Project." [cite web| url=http://www.septembereleventh.org/alerts/asner.php| title =A letter to the Peace and Justice movement from Ed Asner | accessdate = 2008-09-26 | author=Asner, Ed| date=26 April 2004 | publisher=911 Visibility Project] Recently he has appeared in a recurring segment, on Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show", entitled "Does This Impress Ed Asner?" Asner also narrated the documentary film "The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror".

An avid comic book fan, Asner is a member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a free speech organization that's dedicated to protecting comic book creators and retailers from prosecutions based on content.

In the February 28, 2007 all-star benefit reading of "The Gift of Peace" at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, he portrays a minister (clergyman), and plays alongside actors Barbara Bain, Amy Brenneman, George Coe, Wendie Malick, and James Pickens, Jr.. The play is an open appeal and fundraiser for passage of U.S. House Resolution 808, which seeks to establish a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace" in the U.S. government, to be funded by a two percent diversion of the Pentagon's annual budget. [cite web| url=http://www.thepeacealliance.org/content/view/289/148/| title =The Gift of Peace | accessdate = 2007-03-01 | author=Martino, Stacey| date=28 February 2007 | publisher=The Peace Alliance]

Asner is listed as an advisor to the Rosenberg Foundation for Children, an organization founded by the children of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg which provides benefits for the children of political activists, and as a board member for the wildlife conservation organization Defenders of Wildlife.

Personal life

Nancy Sykes was his wife from 1959-1988. Together they have three children: twins Matthew and Liza, and Kate. In 1987 he had son Charles with Carol Jean Vogelman.

Engaged to producer Cindy Gilmore in 1991, they married on 2 August 1998. Gilmore filed for divorce on November 7, 2007.

Model and television personality Jules Asner is his former daughter-in-law. His wife's nephew, Gavin Newsom, was elected mayor of San Francisco in 2003.



*"El Dorado" - Bart Jason (1967)
*"Change of Habit" - Police Officer (1969)
*"Hey, I'm Alive (1975)"
* "The Gathering" (1977 film), won Best Dramatic Special Emmycite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076067/|title=The Gathering (1977) (TV)|publisher=IMDB|accessdate=2008-09-13]
*"JFK" - Guy Banister, CIA/FBI operative (1991)
*"The Animal" - Chief Wilson (2001)
*"Elf" - Santa Claus (2003)
*"Out of the Woods" - Jack (2005)
*"Gigantic" - (2008)
*"Up" - Carl Fredricksen (2009)
*"Stride" - Charlie Arnesson (2009)


*"The Wild Wild West" - Furman Crotty (in the episode "The night of the amnesiac), 1969"
*"" - George Simpson (in the episode " [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0649331/ The Mind of Stefan Miklos] ," 1969)
*"Rich Man, Poor Man" - Axel Jordache (1976)
*"Roots" - Capt. Thomas Davies (1977)
*"Lou Grant" - Lou Grant (1977-1982)
*"Rhoda" - Lou Grant (1974)
*"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" - Lou Grant (1970-77)
*"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" - Wilson White (2006-2007)
*"Oprah" - (May 19, 2008)

Animation and games

*"Gargoyles" - Hudson
*"", "Justice League Unlimited" - Granny Goodness
*"Down in the Dumps" (1963 TV Movie) - Tanner Banion, the bumbling man-servant
*"Captain Planet and the Planeteers" - Hoggish Greedly
*"Center of the Universe" - Art Barnett
*"" - Jedi Master Vrook Lamar
*"" - Jedi Master Vrook Lamar
*"Freakazoid!" - Sgt. Mike Cosgrove
*"The Boondocks" - Ed Wuncler Sr.
*"Max Steel" - Chuck Marshak
*"X-Men Legends" - Healer
*"" - Roland Daggett
*"" - J. Jonah Jameson
*"W.I.T.C.H." - Napoleon the Cat
*"Up" - Carl Fredricksen
*"The Spectacular Spider-Man" - Uncle Ben Parker


External links

*amg name|B2608
*voice actor|1034
* [http://www.stephaniemiller.com/bits/2006_0414_ed.mp3 Audio interview of Ed Asner] by Stephanie Miller on "The Stephanie Miller Show" about a September 11 Conspiracy Theory.
* [http://www.hotpotatomash.com/2008/05/a-day-at-the-be.html#more VIDEO: Ed Asner speaks at peace rally at Arlington West] May 25, 2008

NAME= Asner, Edward
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Asner, Yitzhak Edward
DATE OF BIRTH= November 15, 1929
PLACE OF BIRTH= Kansas City, Kansas, USA

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