Hollywood mourns Ed Asner, star of 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'Lou Grant'

Ed Asner, star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off based on his character, “Lou Grant,” has died. He was 91.

The actor’s death was announced Sunday via his official Twitter account, with a statement that read: “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.”

On “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Asner played Lou Grant, the tough boss of Moore’s Mary Richards, and won three Emmys during the half-hour comedy’s run from 1970 to 1977. He won two more Emmys when he reprised the character on his own show, “Lou Grant.” The hourlong drama ran from 1977 to 1982.

PHOTO: Actors Edward Asner, as Lou Grant, and Mary Tyler Moore, as Mary Richards, in a scene from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1970, Los Angeles.

He is the only actor to win an Emmy for playing the same character on both a comedy and a drama.

Asner also won Emmys for his work on “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Roots.”

Of the iconic cast from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Asner was one of the last surviving members. His death follows those of Moore herself as well as Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman and Georgia Engel. Betty White is the last member of the major cast still living.

PHOTO: Actor Ed Asner arrives to the Los Angeles premiere of "Up" held at the El Capitan Theatre, May 16, 2009, in Hollywood, Calif. Asner provided the voice of main character Carl Fredricksen, right, in the Disney-Pixar animated movie.

Asner also made a name for himself on the big screen, appearing as Santa Claus in the 2003 film “Elf” and lending his voice to Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s 2009 animated movie “Up.”

He served in the Army from 1951 to 1953 and later served as president of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms, from 1981 to 1985.

Asner is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren and multiple generations of fans.

Scroll down to see how Hollywood is paying tribute to Ed Asner:


Mark Hamill

“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill said, “A great man…a great actor… a great life. Thank you Mr. Asner. #RIP.”

George Takei

“Ed Asner, who won seven Emmy awards including five for the unforgettable role of Lou Grant, has passed away,” actor George Takei said. “He was a giant on the screen, and a philanthropist, too. A man of true heart and talent. He will be missed.”

Wanda Sykes

Comedian Wanda Sykes said, “I had the honor to witness Ed’s generosity and compassion first hand. He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed. RIP Ed Asner.”

Michael Moore

“Making my 1st film, Roger & Me, I was broke so I wrote to some famous people to ask for help. Only one responded: Ed Asner. ‘I don’t know you, kid, but here’s 500 bucks’ said the note attached to the check. ‘Sounds like it’ll be a great film. I was an autoworker once.’ R.I.P. Ed,” filmmaker Michael Moore said, sharing a memory of the actor.

Danny DeVito

John Carpenter

Legendary horror director John Carpenter said, “Ed Asner was a talented actor and a very nice man. He always had a twinkle in his eye. Rest In Peace, Ed.”

The Muppets

Jennifer Tilly

Actress Jennifer Tilly said, “Farewell #EdAsner, a wonderful man. He played my dad in the 1994 movie ‘Heads.’ He was so robust and smart and kind and funny. We all loved to hang out with him. Some people you think will just hang on forever, and he was one of them. RIP.”

Ben Stiller

“Sending love to The great Ed Asner’s family,” actor Ben Stiller said. “An icon because he was such a beautiful, funny and totally honest actor. No one like him.”

Rob Schneider

“Ed Asner was a giant in our industry. A great Union man, President of our Actors Guild, a human rights activist. Ed could slide effortlessly between comedy and drama. My Dad’s favorite actor. It was honor to know and work with him. Love you, Ed,” comedian Rob Schneider said.

Sean Astin

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