9 newsworthy facts about Ed Asner

From Lou Grant to Santa Claus, Asner does it all.

Image: The Everett Collection

For almost 60 years, Ed Asner has been entertaining us. He made us laugh on The Mary Tyler Moor Show, made us think on Lou Grant and made us cry in the film Up. 

Here are eight quick things you might not have realized about Asner. 

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1. He knows a lot about hard work.

Before turning to acting, Asner worked on an assembly line for General Motors. 

Image: Associated Press

2. He helped shape Chicago's improv scene.

Chicago has a legendary improv comedy scene that has produced many of today's top comedians. Asner was one of the first performers to come from what would become the Second City. After serving in the military, Asner joined the Playwrights Theatre Club. The group eventually turned into the Compass Players, which later morphed into The Second City. 

3. He holds an important record.

Asner holds the record for being the man with the most Primetime Emmy Awards for acting, with seven awards in total. Amongst all actors, he's tied for second with Allison Janney, Julie Louis-Dreyfus and his former costar Mary Tyler Moore. Only Cloris Leachman has more Primetime Emmy Awards for acting.

Image: Associated Press

4. He's a versatile actor.

Asner is the only actor to win a comedy and drama Primetime Emmy Award for the same role. The actor won the distinction for Lou Grant, who appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its eponymous spinoff, Lou Grant. 

5. He appeared on 'Roots.'

Two months before The Mary Tyler Moore Show ended, Asner appeared in the historical miniseries as Captain Davies, the captain of a slave ship. 

Image: Warner Bros. Television

6. He was president of the Screen Actors Guild.

He served from 1981 to 1985, and was succeeded by Patty Duke. 

Image: 20th Television

7. He was the voice of Carl in 'Up.'

The animated film struck a nerve with audiences solely based on its devastating opening sequence. Anser lent his voice to Carl, the elderly widower who flies away by tying thousands of balloons to his house.

Image: Pixar

8. He likes to portray Santa Claus.

Asner has played Ol' St. Nick five times! He's donned the red suit in an episode of Highway to Heaven (1986), The Story of Santa Claus (1996), Olive, the Other Reindeer (1999), The Ellen Show (2001) and Elf (2003). 

Image: New Line Cinema

9. He appeared on both versions of 'Hawaii Five-O.'

Asner was a guest star on the original series in 1975, and the updated version in 2012. He played the same character in both episodes. 

Image: CBS Television Distribution

SEE MORE: 11 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT CLORIS LEACHMAN

Now discover some fascinating facts about Asner's costar and fellow Emmy honoree. READ MORE

Image: AP Photo/George Brich

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