Not many Hollywood stars can say they’ve accomplished as much as Ed Asner, who was best known for his hit roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, Up and Elf. The late showbiz icon experienced enormous amounts of success in his life, and Ed certainly didn’t slow as he reached his 90s.
Sadly, the sitcom legend died at age 91 on August 29. Ed’s children — Matthew Asner, Liza Asner, Kate Asner and Charles Vogelman — announced his death on Twitter, writing, “We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head — Goodnight dad. We love you.”
Leading up to his death, Ed showed no signs of retiring. As his IMDb page states, he was set to act in a plethora of future films, including Mee and McGee, Vail of Justice, Unplugged, Back of Book and A Promise Kept. The actor also finished filming on upcoming projects: Back Home Again, The Gettysburg Address, The Last Saturday Night and Scarlett, among others.
One of his most impressive achievements was becoming the most honored male performer in the history of the Television Academy, earning seven Emmys throughout his career since making his debut in the late 1950s. Five of those were for playing the character of Lou Grant, first on Mary Tyler Moore‘s namesake series and then on a spinoff named after his character.
Speaking exclusively with Closer ahead of his 90th birthday in October 2019, Ed dished why he never envisioned giving up acting. “Not as long as I can still lift my arms up to my head. It’s getting more difficult — I can’t reach beyond my head, but if I can scratch my head, I can still work,” he shared.
When it came to maintaining his sharp mind and health, Ed revealed he had a few tricks up his sleeve. “Keep your mind active,” he told Closer, saying he believed the most important things in life are “working, reading” and “being with people who can excite you.” Ed teasingly said staying “sexual” also can’t hurt.
Looking back on everything he earned throughout his six-plus decades in Hollywood, Ed told Closer he wanted “another 90 years,” adding a laugh. “I have a few more roles I want to play, and if the good Lord is in a generous mood, I can show the world what I can do. I love my work. It’s not work — it’s pleasure. Showbiz is sexy!”
To take a walk down memory lane and see Ed’s incredible life in photos, scroll through the gallery below.
1 of 14
2 of 14
3 of 14
4 of 14
5 of 14
6 of 14
7 of 14
8 of 14
9 of 14
10 of 14
11 of 14
12 of 14
13 of 14
14 of 14