Comedy Icon Ed Asner Dies at 91, Remembered by Peers and Fans


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Ed Asner passed away over the weekend at age 91, it was confirmed by the comedy legend’s family in a statement shared to social media on Sunday:

Throughout his years in entertainment, Asner was a major force in the comedy and acting world, winning a total of seven Emmys for his work in the 1970s — first as newsman Lou Grant in CBS’ The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as 1976’s Rich Man, Poor Man and in 1977’s landmark Roots.

Asner also provided the voice behind Ed, the central figure in Disney and Pixar’s film Up:

More on Ed Asner and his influence, per Rock Cellar’s recent feature on his charity work with the Ed Asner Foundation:

His big screen credits range from an FBI agent in Oliver Stone’s 1991 thriller JFK to Santa Claus in the 2003 comedy Elf to voicing the curmudgeonly Carl in the 2009 Oscar-winning animated feature Up! to portraying a Holocaust survivor in 2020’s Tiger Within.

The five-time Golden Globe winner may have racked up 400-plus TV and movie credits, but he has been no stranger to live theater. In his late eighties Asner toured in the one-man show FDR, depicting his childhood hero, President Roosevelt. As he turned 90 the indomitable thespian portrayed the Almighty onstage in the political satire God Help Us! and toured America in the one-man comedy A Man and His Prostate.

News of Asner’s passing prompted an outpouring of love and condolences from his many colleagues, peers and fans in the industry.

Asner was also quite visible in the activism scene, specifically from the progressive perspective. In Ed Rampell’s piece about Asner’s charitable work, the legend discussed his Ed Asner Charity Center and its efforts to help the autistic community:

Rock Cellar: What is the Ed Asner Family Center?

Ed Asner: It’s a nonprofit. It’s a sorely needed institution — if only we can popularize it enough to get people aware of it. It serves a very useful purpose.

I have an autistic son, Charlie. My son [Matt] has an autistic son. People — I’m just amazed who’s attached themselves to autism. Aren’t you amazed at what you find?

Rock Cellar: I have to tell you the truth Ed, I don’t know much about the subject.

Ed Asner: It’s an evasive, elusive subject. And our purpose is to circulate and inform people who are puzzled by it — and who need help with it.

May Ed Asner rest in peace.


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