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Ed (Edward) Asner (1929-2021)

Ed Asner

Ed Asner was one of the greatest productive and hard-working actors and producers in TV, cinema and theater of our time. He was an ardent democratic socialist, fighting for the cause of peace, social justice and human rights in the Unites States and all around the world. He died on August 29, 2021, at the age of 91 in Tarzana, California.

He became mostly famous for his role as Lou Grant, in a drama television series, depicting a newspaper editor aired on September 20th, 1977, on CBS. This Series was suddenly cancelled at the height of its success and rating on September 13, 1982. Ed Asner believed that the real reason of its cancellation was his left-wing political views, and his criticism of the US Government’s meddling in Central America, especially in El Salvador.

Ed Asner was born on November 15, in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Kansas City, Kansas to immigrant parents. His Father Morris David Asner was from Vilnius, Lithuania, who ran a second-hand shop and junk yard. His mother Lizzie Seliger was a housewife from Odessa, Ukraine.

Asner studied journalism at the University of Chicago, but left it to work as a taxi driver due to his financial needs, then changed his job to work at the General Motors assembly line. After doing other odd jobs, he got drafted in the military in 1951. He also appeared in different plays that toured US Army bases in Europe. After his military service, he helped the creation of the playwrights Theater Company in Chicago. Then went to New York City to continue his acting carrier. He then left New York City in 1961, and settled in Los Angeles for more opportunities in acting in cinema, theater, and television series.

Overall Asner produced four films, acted in 391 movies, 126 single performances, and narrated in ten films, documentaries, and extensive works for radio, video games, and animated TV series during his carrier from 1947, till 2021.

Between 1981 and 1985, Asner served as the president of the Screen Actor Guild while he was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

In 1996, Asner was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, and in 2002 received the Screen Actor Guild’s Life Achievement Award.

With the terrible events of 9/11, 2001, Asner fervently supported Truth Movement and called for a new investigation. He wrote an open letter to the “peace and justice leaders” encouraging them to demand the full truth; among them on the collapse of building 7 at the World Trade Center, which he endorsed the theory that the building was taken down by controlled demolition.

Asner was critical of US Government and its NATO allies on invasion of Yugoslavia, Middle East and Libya. He was a progressive Jew and a strong advocate of Palestinian rights, Palestinian statehood, the “Two State Solution”, and critical of Israel, corruption in Washington, AIPAC, the deceptive “Liberals, Zionists, and Jewish organizations” (Mark Bruzonsky, August 29,2021).

Some of Asner’s famous works, and acts:

  • Armstrong Circle Theater (TV series), 1957

  • Omnibus (TV series), 1958

  • Naked City (TV series), 1961

  • Outlaws (TV series), 1962

  • Outlaws (TV series), 1962

  • Root 66 (TV series), 1962

  • The Untouchables (TV series), 1962—63.

  • The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (TV series), 1963

  • Fanfare for a Death Scene (TV movie), 1964

  • Slattery People, 1964

  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (TV series), 1965

  • The Rat Patrol (TV series), 1966

  • El Dorado (Western movie), 1966

  • The Fugitive (TV series), 1965-67

  • Iron Horse (TV series), 1967

  • The Wild Wild West (TV series), 1968

  • Mission Impossible (TV series), 1969

  • The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (TV movie), 1970

  • They Called It Murder (TV movie), 1971

  • Haunts of the Very Rich (TV movie), 1972

  • Rhoda (TV series), 1972

  • Hey, I’m Alive (TV movie), 1975

  • Rich Man, Poor Man (TV mini series), 1976, One Emmy Award

  • Roots (TV mini series), 1977, One Emmy Award

  • The Mary Tyler Moor Show (Lou Grant), 1970-77

  • Great Performances (Tv series), 1978

  • The Family Man (TV movie), 1979

  • A Small Killing (TV movie), 1981

  • Lou Grant (TV series), 1977-82, Five Emmy Awards

  • A Case of Libel (TV movie), 1983

  • A Friendship in Vienna (TV movie), 1988

  • Good Cops, Bad Cops (TV movie), 1990

  • JFK (movie), 1991

  • Elf, 2003

  • GYPSY (TV movie), 1993

  • Heads (TV movie), 1994

  • Gone in the Night (TV movie), 1996

  • Out of the Woods (TV movie), 2005

  • Christmas Is Here Again, he voiced Krad (a villain) animated musical comedy film, 2007

  • Generation Gap (TV movie), 2008

  • UP (computer animated film, he voiced Carl Fredrickson, Pixar’s Studios), 2009

  • The Good Wife (TV series), 2009-2016

  • The Glades (TV series), 2010-2013

  • To Big to Fail (TV movie), 2011

  • Working Class (TV series), 2011

  • Michael, Every Day, a Canadian TV sitcom (CBC), 2011

  • Home Alone: Holiday Heist (TV movie), 2012

  • Hearts on Fire (TV movie), 2013

  • The Game Makers, 2014

  • High Hopes: The Amityville Horror Murders (Tv movie), 2014

  • A Man and His Prostate (Tv movie), 2020

  • All of My Heart (TV movie), 2015

  • Captain Daddy (Tv movie), 2021


  • The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs, 2017

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