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About Yitzhak Edward Asner
Eddie "Edward" Asner is an American film, television and voice actor and former President of the Screen Actors Guild, primarily known for his role as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series, Lou Grant. More recently, he provided the voice of Carl Fredricksen in Pixar's award-winning animated film, Up.
Before he landed his role with Mary Tyler Moore, Asner guest starred in such television series as NBC's The Outlaws (1962), in the series finale of CBS's The Reporter, and The Invaders.
Asner is best best known for his character Lou Grant, who was first introduced on the The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970. In 1977, after the end of the Mary Tyler Moore show, Asner's character was given his own show, Lou Grant, which ran from 1977-1982. In contrast to the Mary Tyler Moore show, which was a thirty minute comedy, the Lou Grant show was an hour long award-winning drama about journalism.
Asner is also known for his acclaimed role as Captain Davies, from the mini-series Roots, the man who kidnapped Kunta Kinte and sold him into slavery, a role that earned Asner an Emmy Award. While Asner's character in Roots was highly developed, full of metaphors on tortured ethics and the morality of slavery, biographer Alex Haley would later admit he had no idea who the actual Captain was who had commanded the historic slaver which had kidnapped his ancestor.
Asner was a member of the Playwrights Theatre Company in Chicago, but left for New York before members of that company regrouped as the Compass Players in the mid-1950s. He later made guest appearances with the successor to Compass, The Second City, and is considered part of The Second City extended family. Asner has also had an extensive voice acting career. He provided the voices for J. Jonah Jameson on the 1990s animated television series Spider-Man, Hudson on Gargoyles, Jabba the Hutt on the radio version of Star Wars, Master Vrook from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, Roland Daggett on Batman: The Animated Series, Cosgrove on Freakazoid!, Ed Wuncler on The Boondocks, and Granny Goodness in various DC Comics animated series. Both he and his late friend Linda Gary voiced many cartoons for the Filmation company. In 1993, he narrated the short documentary Legacy for Efrain, which explores the impact of the nonprofit world hunger organization Heifer International. In 2001 was the protagonist for "Papa Giovanni XXIII" fiction for Rai One (Italy). He made an appearance on the show Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2001. In February 2009, Asner guest-starred in the web series Star-ving. More recently, Asner provided the voice of Carl Fredricksen in the 2009 Pixar film Up. He received great critical praise for the role, with one critic going so far as to suggest "They should create a new category for this year's Academy Award for Best Vocal Acting in an Animated Film and name Asner as the first recipient." Asner is the only actor to win the Emmy award for a sitcom and a drama for the same role—Lou Grant.
In 2009, Asner was given the Lifetime Feel Good Achievement Award at that year's Feel Good Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Although popularly known as Ed Asner, professionally he prefers the name Edward Asner.