9 newsworthy facts about Ed Asner

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

Image: The Everett Collection

For over 60 years, Ed Asner has been entertaining us. He made us laugh on The Mary Tyler Moore 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. 

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


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

Image: AP Photo/George Brich

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BobZayas 36 months ago
According to IMDb, Ed Asner has been credited with playing Santa Claus 10 times.
BenjiLee BobZayas 36 months ago
I do believe you need to learn how to read.
this is a quote from IMDB
"Has played Santa Claus 5 times; in Elf (2003), The Ellen Show (2001), Olive, the Other Reindeer (1999), The Story of Santa Claus (1996) and in an episode of Highway to Heaven."
elec99 BenjiLee 27 months ago
Wow so rude for no reason, especially for someone so wrong. Benji, that was a dated submission someone made to trivia, he's done it several more times since 2003. I do believe you need to learn how to count. Hang in there, eventually someone else will do the tricky counting for you and you'll be closer to correct.
DouglasMorris 61 months ago
loved him on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and his own show Lou Grant!
Dan 61 months ago
My favorite role of his was in the Hallmark movie "The Christmas Card" from 2006, it also starred one of my favorite actresses, Lois Nettleton. It is playing on the Hallmark Movies And Mysteries channel on 11/11 and 11/12.
Amalthea Dan 36 months ago
Mine is "The Gathering", a 1977 TV-movie. He plays a man who finds out he's dying. He's estranged from his family and he wants to make amends without them knowing about his condition. My husband found it for me on DVD and I watch it every year...because my VHS wore out. It's also my favorite Christmas movie.
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