American acting legend Ed Asner passed away on Sunday, August 29, at the age of 91. His publicist confirmed that Asner died peacefully and was with his family during his final moments.
Asner’s Twitter page confirmed the news, stating: “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.”
Asner, a nationally celebrated talent in the 20th century, was known primarily for his iconic rendition of Lou Grant on the beloved The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The winner of seven Emmy Awards.
In a previous interview, Asner recalled how he got into acting. He thought of it as a rebellion against the conformity imposed on him by religion during his childhood: “I was a stellar student at Hebrew school and the rabbi had big hopes for me, but I was a grave disappointment to him. I needed to revolt against something, and I revolted against the religion.”
Asner expanded his oeuvre in the 21st century through voice-acting for the immensely popular Pixar film Up. Asner said: “I’ve never stopped loving cartoons. I loved cartoons as a kid. I can still look at them and enjoy them. … I was asked to do Ted Turner’s Captain Planet series. I played Hoggish Greedly [makes pig sounds]. I loved inventing shtick for him, and it served a very noble purpose at the same time.”
Adding, “To tell you the truth, I hadn’t seen any Pixar until I went to see Wall-E and I watched it and I was shocked to see how adult it was, with the setting in our lives, both present and future, and how they dealt with it. … And then quite relieved to find that the one I was working on, Up, how adult it was.”
The pandemic also affected Asner’s life in unprecedented ways, as the actor admitted: “It changed my life. It seems like it’s changed everybody’s life — and I think it’s changed performing and creativity as much as anything else. My eyesight is not the greatest and my hearing is not the greatest, so I don’t go out much anyway. I sit here most of the time, bored as hell, not sure which way to turn. I don’t know. I’m waiting for the next gig, and they’re slower in coming in now, I can tell you.”