Edward “Ed” Asner is a Jewish American film, television, stage and voice actor.
He was born on November 15, 1929, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Russian-born parents, and raised in an Orthodox Jewish household.
Asner became his acting career by performing in off-Broadway productions, including The Threepenny Opera (1956). By 1961, he had shifted his interests to television, making guest appearances on several series. From 1964 to 1965, Asner was a regular on Slattery’s People.
Asner is best known for his Emmy-winning role as Lou Grant on CBS’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977), and later continued in a spin-off series, Lou Grant (1977-1982). Asner is the only actor, to win Emmys for playing the same character in both a comedy (“Mary Tyler Moore” (1970)) and a drama (“Lou Grant” (1977)).
During the run of “Mary Tyler Moore,” Asner also starred in a number of television movies and mini-series including Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) and Roots (1977).
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, and Cosgrove on Freakazoid.
Asner served as President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) from 1981 to 1985.