American actor Ed Asner, who starred in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and many animated features, including Pixar’s Up, has died at the age of 91.
His publicist confirmed the news to Variety, writing that he died on Sunday surrounded by family. Meanwhile, Asner’s official Twitter account posted a message from his family, which read: “We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head – Goodnight dad. We love you.”
We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) August 29, 2021
The star was best known for his role as the gruff and loveable newsman Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Following the show’s cancellation, he went on to star in two miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots, which he won Emmys for. More recently, he voiced lead character Carl Fredricksen in the animated 2009 film Up. He has also appeared on the popular Netflix shows Grace & Frankie, Cobra Kai and Dead to Me, and has provided voices for American Dad and Spider-Man, the animated series.
Since the news broke, tributes have started to pour in for the late actor, with American actor Michael McKean tweeting: “Ed Asner was a fine man and a great actor. He was tough in the ways that count and suffered no fools. I acted with him just once and knew how lucky I was to do so. A hero. Rest in peace, Ed.”
The Muppets’ official Twitter page wrote: “Ed Asner was a great friend of The Muppets. Few have ever been as funny, talented, and kind as he was. We will miss him dearly.”
Fans also paid their respects, with Twitter user @cjhitchcock, writing: “While I think a lot of people are going to talk about Ed Asner’s various roles throughout his historic career, the one that’s going to stay with me forever is Cosgrove from Freakazoid. Whatever you’ve got going on today, cut it out and watch Freakazoid.”
And @onthebird added: “Just spotted him on an episode of Grace and Frankie and he was darling, as always.”
Asner is the third The Mary Tyler Moore Show star to die in recent months. Cloris Leachman died in January and Gavin MacLeod died in May. Betty White is now one of the last surviving cast members. She is 98.