The actor, whose roles also included voicing the lead in the Pixar film Up, passed away “peacefully” on Sunday morning, his family said.
“Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head-Goodnight dad. We love you.”
The character Lou Grant was first introduced as Mary Richards’s boss on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s. Grant, the irascible editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune, then became a character in a show in his own right from 1977 to 1982.
The role helped earn Asner seven Emmy awards across his career, the most for a male performer. During his acting career Asner was an outspoken supporter of a number of humanitarian and political causes, including trade unionism and animal rights.
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He served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985, and was honoured in 2000 with the union’s prestigious Ralph Morgan Award.
In 1955 he made his Broadway debut with Jack Lemmon in Face of A Hero, then performed with the American and New York Shakespeare festivals and appeared in numerous off-Broadway shows.