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Ed Asner is an American actor best known as gruff-but-lovable newsman Lou Grant, who debuted on the television sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Ed Asner - Full Biography (44:47)
Valerie Harper - I, Rhoda (3:54)
Short, stocky character actor Ed Asner won fame playing Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", and made enemies off the screen with his fiery liberal politics while starring in his own spin-off.
During an era that showcased actresses in young wives and mother roles, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" revolutionized the image of women on TV.
Actress Valerie Harper ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda") discusses her new autobiography, "I, Rhoda." Video courtesy of Simon & Schuster. Click "Buy Now" to learn more about the book.
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Throughout the rest of the 1980s and '90s, Asner worked on a variety of projects. He returned to TV a number of times, making appearances on Hearts Afire (1992-93) with John Ritter,
Thunder Alley (1994-95) with Haley Joel Osment and The Closer (1998) with Tom Selleck. He also appeared on The Practice (1997-04) and held a regular role on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006-07). In 2011, he returned as the star of his own show, Working Class (2011). In this Country Music Television original series, Asner starred as a butcher who befriends a struggling single mom.
Asner has also brought his talents to feature films, including a comic turn as Santa Claus in the 2003 comedy Elf, starring opposite Will Farrell. In 2007, the actor garnered an Emmy Award nomination for his work on the TV movie The Christmas Card.
Over the years, Asner has also lent his trademark voice to a number of animated series, including Fish Police (1992), The Magic School Bus (1994-98) and Spider-Man (1994-98). Perhaps most notably, in 2009, he did voiceover work for the award-winning Pixar film Up.
In addition to his acting work, Asner served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981-85.
In March 2013, Asner was released from a Chicago hospital due to exhaustion. He was hospitalized for two days after having been pulled off stage during a performance in Gary, Indiana.
Asner has been married twice and has three children—Matthew, Liza and Kate—from his first marriage to Nancy Sykes. He also has a son, Charles, from his relationship with Carol Jean Vogelman. Asner married Cindy Gilmore in 1998; the couple divorced in 2007.
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