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Ed Asner

Ed AsnerAKA Yitzak Edward Asner

Born: 15-Nov-1929
Birthplace: Kansas City, KS

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Lou Grant

Military service: US Army Signal Corps (1951-53)

Ed Asner played the heavy-boozing wisecracking sitcom news producer Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Then, in a spin-off series, Lou Grant suddenly kicked the bottle and became a serious editor at a big city newspaper, facing overwrought ethical dilemmas every week. Asner became the only actor to win Emmys for both Comedy and Drama playing the same character.

Asner has been a regular on a dozen other TV series, not counting all his cartoon voice work. He has guested on everything from Route 66 in the 60s to ER in the 00s. He played Santa Claus in three Christmas specials, an episode of Ellen, and the Will Ferrell film Elf. From 1981-85, he was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

As a young man, Asner worked at a General Motors plant near Kansas City, where he became a believer in strong unions to protect workers' rights. Over the years he evolved into an outspoken activist for many leftist causes, earning him the nickname "Lou Rant" in some circles. Right-wingers call Asner a socialist, and it's not hyperbole -- he is a prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He helped fund Michael Moore's first film, Roger & Me, and he has taken outspoken stands against racism and nuclear power, for a pardon for Leonard Peltier and a retrial for Mumia Abu-Jamal. And he has tiptoed toward the lunatic fringe by making contributions to Lyndon LaRouche's perpetual candidacy for President.

In 1982, Asner signed a letter seeking to raise funds for medical aid to rebels in El Salvador, who were fighting against the U.S.-backed but very oppressive regime there. Vidal Sassoon and Kimberly Clarke quickly withdrew their ads from Lou Grant, and two weeks later CBS cancelled the show, though its ratings were considerably higher than several shows that the network renewed. Asner has long said he took the cancellation as a personal "fuck you" from CBS Chairman William S. Paley.

Father: Morris David Asner (ran second-hand shop)
Mother: Lizzie (Seliger) Asner (homemaker)
Brother: Ben Asner (record shop owner, d. 1986, cerebral hemorrhage)
Wife: Nancy Lou Sikes (m. 1957, div. 1988, three children)
Son: Matthew Asner (Liza's twin, director, The Bible Code II: Apocalypse and Beyond)
Daughter: Liza Asner (Matthew's twin, executive, Cascade Blues Association)
Daughter: Kathryn "Kate" Asner (actress, Wedding Bell Blues)
Girlfriend: Carol Jean Vogelman
Son: Charles Vogelman (b. 1987, with Carol Jean Vogelman)
Wife: Cindy Gilmore (producer, Sister Act, b. 1940, engaged 1991, m. 2-Aug-1998)
Son: Robin Gilmore (stepson)

    High School: Wyandotte High School, Kansas City, KS
    University: University of Chicago

    Democratic Socialists of America
    Disarm Education Fund National Advisory Board
    MoveOn.org
    Screen Actors Guild President (1981-85)
    General Motors (assembly plant worker)
    Emmy 1971 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Emmy 1972 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Emmy 1975 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Emmy 1976 for Rich Man, Poor Man
    Emmy 1978 for Lou Grant
    Emmy 1980 for Lou Grant
    Golden Globe 1972 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Golden Globe 1976 for Mary Tyler Moore
    Golden Globe 1977 for Rich Man, Poor Man
    Golden Globe 1978 for Lou Grant
    Golden Globe 1980 for Lou Grant
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 6363 Hollywood Blvd.
    Visited Disneyland Candlelight Procession (Dec-1977, Dec-1981)
    Traveled to the USSR May-1984
    Risk Factors: Obesity, Smoking

    TELEVISION
    Working Class Hank Greziak (2011-)
    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Wilson White (2006-07)
    Center of the Universe Art Barnett (2004-)
    ER Dr. James McNulty (2003)
    The Closer Carl Dobson (1998)
    The Practice Judge Marcus Winnaker (1997-2004)
    Thunder Alley Gil Jones (1994-95)
    The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Walter Kovacs (1991-92)
    The Bronx Zoo Joe Danzig (principal, 1987-88)
    Lou Grant Lou Grant (1977-82)
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show Lou Grant (1970-77)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (25-Nov-2012)
    Let Go (25-Oct-2011)
    Too Big to Fail (23-May-2011) · Warren Buffett
    All-Star Superman (22-Feb-2011) [VOICE]
    Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (28-Sep-2010) · Granny Goodness [VOICE]
    The Desert of Forbidden Art (6-Feb-2010) [VOICE]
    Up (13-May-2009) · Carl Fredricksen [VOICE]
    Christmas Cottage (11-Nov-2008)
    Generation Gap (1-Nov-2008)
    Gigantic (8-Sep-2008) · Kirby Weathersby
    Channels (2008) · Packard
    The Christmas Card (2-Dec-2006)
    The Heart Specialist (13-Sep-2006) · Mr. Olson
    Sir! No Sir! (19-Jun-2005) [VOICE]
    Out of the Woods (2-Apr-2005)
    Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (20-Dec-2003)
    Elf (7-Nov-2003) · Santa
    The King and Queen of Moonlight Bay (15-Jun-2003) · Auggie Sinclair
    The Animal (21-Mar-2001) · Chief Wilson
    Island Prey (2001)
    Above Suspicion (7-Jun-2000)
    Common Ground (29-Jan-2000)
    Olive, the Other Reindeer (17-Dec-1999) [VOICE]
    The Bachelor (3-Nov-1999)
    Love and Action in Chicago (15-Sep-1999) · Taylor
    Our Friend, Martin (1999) [VOICE]
    Armistead Maupin's More Tales of the City (7-Jun-1998)
    Hard Rain (16-Jan-1998) · Charlie
    The Long Way Home (19-Sep-1997) [VOICE]
    Payback (10-Feb-1997)
    A Christmas Carol (1997) [VOICE]
    Gone in the Night (25-Feb-1996)
    Gargoyles: The Heroes Awaken (Feb-1995) [VOICE]
    Gypsy (12-Dec-1993) · Pop
    Happily Ever After (28-May-1993) [VOICE]
    Cruel Doubt (17-May-1992)
    JFK (20-Dec-1991) · Guy Bannister
    Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (8-Dec-1991)
    Switched at Birth (28-Apr-1991)
    Moon Over Parador (9-Sep-1988) · Himself
    Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night (6-Aug-1987) [VOICE]
    Cracked Up (26-May-1987)
    The Christmas Star (14-Dec-1986)
    Daniel (26-Aug-1983)
    A Case of Libel (1983)
    O'Hara's Wife (8-Jul-1982)
    The Marva Collins Story (1-Dec-1981) · Narrator [VOICE]
    Fort Apache the Bronx (6-Feb-1981)
    The Gathering (4-Dec-1977)
    Roots (23-Jan-1977)
    Gus (7-Jul-1976)
    Rich Man, Poor Man (1-Feb-1976)
    Death Scream (26-Sep-1975)
    The Wrestler (Feb-1974)
    The Girl Most Likely to... (6-Nov-1973)
    The Todd Killings (20-Oct-1971)
    The Last Child (5-Oct-1971)
    Skin Game (30-Sep-1971) · Plunkett
    The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (13-Oct-1970)
    They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (8-Jul-1970) · Woody Garfield
    Halls of Anger (29-Apr-1970)
    House on Greenapple Road (11-Jan-1970)
    Change of Habit (10-Nov-1969) · Lt. Moretti
    Gunn (28-Jun-1967) · Jacoby
    The Venetian Affair (18-Jan-1967)
    El Dorado (17-Dec-1966) · Bart Jason
    The Doomsday Flight (13-Dec-1966)
    The Slender Thread (23-Dec-1965)
    The Satan Bug (26-Mar-1965) · Veretti
    Fanfare for a Death Scene (1964)


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