Ed Asner, ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Star, Dies at 91

The late actor Ed Asner has died at the age of 91. The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” star died Monday after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, his daughter, Emily, confirmed to The Associated Press….

Ed Asner, ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Star, Dies at 91

The late actor Ed Asner has died at the age of 91. The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” star died Monday after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, his daughter, Emily, confirmed to The Associated Press.

Asner played Lou Grant, a gruff, yet caring TV news director, on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” one of the most iconic sitcoms in American television history. The show ran from 1970-77 and made Asner, then a 63-year-old up-and-coming actor, one of television’s most well-known stars.

“What he gave to American life as a whole will be felt for centuries. You think of ‘Lou Grant,’ you think of a really great show, and the man was on top of it,” said “Mary Tyler Moore Show” executive producer Grant Tinker in a 1987 interview with The New York Times.

The show was praised for tackling serious issues while still entertaining. In the 1970s, Asner’s trademark character was credited with pushing for fairness in American television news.

“He’s the first — and still one of the only — people who’s actually found what he wanted,” said Hugh Downs, who played Dr. James Van Praagh on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Asner was born May 13, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was raised in small towns outside of Des Moines and on the Iowa prairie until the age of 20 when he left to join the Air Force. After his discharge, he took acting classes and joined off-Broadway productions before moving to Hollywood to pursue his career.

In addition to playing Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Asner’s other television credits include “Lou Grant,” “Lou Grant in Iowa,” “M*A*S*H,” “Grace Under Fire,” “Fired Up!,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Gracie,” “Webster,” “The King of Queens,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “Lucky Louie,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Scrubs,” “Drunk History,” “Grimm,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Modern Family,” “Happy Days,” “Rick and Morty,” “Off The Map,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The City,” “Parenthood,” “Life with Jessie,” “Enlisted,” “Divorce Court,” “My Name Is Earl,” “Wilfred,” “Transparent,” “New Girl,” “Nashville,” “Younger,” “Murphy Brown,” “The Office,” “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” “The Keepers,” “Freakshow,” “Criminal Minds,” “Friends,” “The New Yorker,” “Killing Fields,” “Married With Children,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Scandal,” “Mom,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Rules of Engagement,” “The OA,” “The Mindy Project,” “Freak Show,” “The Good Wife,” “Roseanne,” “General Hospital” and “Glee.”

Asner is survived by his wife of nearly seven decades, Laura, son Nick and daughter Emily, a caregiver. He is also survived by three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was buried in Glendale, California.

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