(Profile Facts)-Edward Asner (born November 15, 1929), commonly known as Ed Asner, is an American film, television, stage, and voice actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild, primarily known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Lou Grant on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series, Lou Grant. In 2009, he starred as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in Pixar's award-winning animated film, Up. In early 2011, Asner returned to television as butcher Hank Greziak in Working Class, the first original sitcom on cable channel CMT.
Asner was born Eddie Asner in Kansas City, Missouri, but was raised in nearby Kansas City, Kansas. His Russian-born parents, Lizzie (née Seliger), a housewife, and Morris David Asner, ran a second-hand shop. He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. Asner attended Wyandotte High School and the University of Chicago. He served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps and appeared in plays that toured Army camps in Europe.
A member of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy and Democratic Socialists of America. Asner served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, in which capacity during the 1980s he opposed US policy in Central America. He played a prominent role in the 1980 SAG strike. He has also been active in a variety of other causes, such as the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the movement to establish single-payer health care in California, California One Care, for which he created a television advertisement.
The cancellation of Lou Grant in 1982 was the subject of much controversy. The show supposedly had ratings which would have justified its ongoing presence in primetime (it was in the ACNielsen top ten throughout its final month on the air), but the network declined to renew it. Asner has consistently contended that the publicity surrounding his political views was the real cause for the cancellation. (Howard Hesseman, who had participated with Asner in promoting a controversial medical aid for El Salvador program, found his popular show WKRP in Cincinnati canceled by CBS the same day.)
Asner served as the spokesman for 2004 Racism Watch. In April 2004, he wrote an open letter to "peace and justice leaders" encouraging them to demand "full 9-11 truth" through the organization 9-11 Visibility Project. He also signed a statement released by the organization 9/11 Truth in 2004 that calls for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks. A brief summary of the reasons for his position appears in a video available on YouTube. Asner confirmed his support for the statement in 2009. Asner also narrated the documentary film The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror.
Asner was married to Nancy Sykes from 1959 until 1988. Together they have three children: twins Matthew and Liza, and Kate. In 1987, he had a son named Charles with Carol Jean Vogelman. Asner is a parent of a child with autism. He also serves on the advisory board of a suburban Chicago firm that employs persons with autistic spectrum disorders to test and program software.
Engaged to producer Cindy Gilmore in 1991, they married on 2 August 1998. Gilmore filed for divorce on November 7, 2007. Model and television personality Jules Asner is his former daughter-in-law. Gavin Newsom, his nephew-in-law, was a former mayor of San Francisco and the current Lieutenant Governor of California.
The Murder Men (1961)
The Slender Thread - Det. Judd Ridley (1965)
El Dorado - Bart Jason (1967)
Change of Habit - Police Officer (1969)
The Girl Most Likely to... - Det. Ralph Varone (1973)
Hey, I'm Alive – Ralph Flores (1975)
Gus - Hank Cooper (1976)
Fort Apache, The Bronx - Captain Dennis Connolly (1981)
Americas in Transition (1981) (narrator)
Moon over Parador (1988) (Himself)
The Cops Are Robbers - (1990)
JFK - Guy Banister, CIA/FBI operative (1991)
Goldilocks and the Three Bears (1995) (Bruno)
Hard Rain - Uncle Charlie (1998)
The Bachelor - Sid Gluckman (1999)
The Animal - Chief Wilson (2001)
The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002)
Elf - Santa Claus (2003)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure - Uncle Nick (2003)
Happily Even After - Judge Dreyfus (uncredited) (2004)
Out of the Woods - Jack (2005)
The Christmas Card - Luke Spelman (2006)
Gigantic - (2008)
Christmas Is Here Again - Krad (2008)
Generation Gap - Colonel Bart Cahill (2008)
Channels (2008 film) - Ed Packard
Up - Carl Fredricksen (2009)
Stride - Charlie Arnesson (2009)
The Raft - Seymour Popper (2009)
Sheeba (2011 film) - Grandfather (2011)