In the wake of Ed Asner’s death on Sunday, Hollywood figures took to social media to pay tribute to the seven-time Emmy-winner who charmed audiences with his roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Up. He was 91.
Actor Josh Gad wrote on Twitter, “I am heartbroken to say goodbye to our friend #EdAsner who graced #CentralParkTV as the voice of Bitsy’s brother Ambrose. He was a Legend, a beautiful soul and a truly brilliant actor. Love you sir! We will miss down here, but smiling that you are have fittingly gone Up.”
Cobra Kai showrunner Josh Heald reflected on having Asner on the series as Johnny Lawrence’s childhood friend Sid. “Getting to work with @TheOnlyEdAsner on @CobraKaiSeries made a surreal experience even deeper. What a sense of humor on that man. He was a Day 1 Cobra Kai for life. We will dearly miss our Sid.”
Maureen McCormic said she was “heartbroken” over the news of Asner’s passing, tweeting “Rest In Peace my sweet, kind and dear friend Ed. You made and will continue to make this world a better place. I love you and will miss you so very much.”
Yvette Nicole Brown shared a story of Niecy Nash’s about Asner on Twitter. “I will always remember the story @NiecyNash told of his kindness to her when she was just starting out & how he then came to her #WalkOfFame Ceremony decades later.”
Katie Couric took to Instagram to pay tribute to Asner, writing “RIP Ed Asner, forever Lou Grant to me. Thank you for the laughs and for a life of intelligence and integrity.”
Keith Olbermann wrote of Asner on Twitter, “We’ve lost one of the great humans. Ed Asner went from the over-the-top comedy of MTM, to taking the SAME character and making him the centerpiece of an underrated drama of “Lou Grant.” I met him, where else, at a charity event. His life was charity.”
Rosanna Arquette paid respects to Asner on Twitter, writing “what a truly good and honorable human you were,” and thanked him for his service to the Screen Actors Guild. Asner served two terms as president from 1981-85, and sparred often with Charlton Heston, a noted conservative who preceded him as head of the guild. He received the SAG Life Achievement Award in 2002.
Asner received three of his record seven Emmy Awards (in 1971, ’72 and ’75) for playing the producer of the WJM-TV evening news on CBS’ The Mary Tyler Moore Show, then reeled in two more trophies (1978, ’80) after his out-of-work character was hired as city editor of the Los Angeles Tribune newspaper on CBS’ Lou Grant. Asner also received Emmys for his performances on two renowned ABC miniseries: 1976’s Rich Man, Poor Man, in which he played an embittered German immigrant, and 1977’s Roots, as the sea captain who brought Kunta Kinte to America.
He then attracted a new generation of fans when he voiced Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old widower who ties thousands of balloons to his house to fulfill a dream of seeing South America, in the Oscar best picture nominee Up (2009).
Read more tributes to Asner below.
Loved Ed Asner. RIP
— marc maron (@marcmaron) August 29, 2021
Thanks, Ed Asner, for a lifetime of great work.
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) August 29, 2021
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.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) August 29, 2021
— Al Jean (@AlJean) August 29, 2021
RIP Ed Asner, 91.
What an actor. Loved him as Lou Grant. pic.twitter.com/elBnK1iBXw
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 29, 2021
Ed Asner, a total mensch. RIP, dear man.
— Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) August 29, 2021
Had the privilege of locking eyes with #EdAsner on Studio 60 and it meant a lot to me because I grew up loving him and he was one of those rare actors who just shot straight. He couldn’t help it. Rest In Peace, sir. Well done.
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) August 29, 2021
Oh this hurts. 💔💔💔💔💔🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 Rest In Peace Ed.
Not only an iconic award winning actor but a humanitarian and someone who I worked closely with to support #Autism families. Just crushing. #EdAsner pic.twitter.com/9wUwYZxQkJ
— Holly Robinson Peete 💃🏾♍️ (@hollyrpeete) August 29, 2021
Ed Asner was an American treasure. No one could capture that quintessential gruff kindness the way he could. Deeply saddened by his passing. https://t.co/53yMfCoh6L
— Steven DeKnight (@stevendeknight) August 29, 2021
So sorry to learn of Ed Asner’s passing. I grew up watching Ed as Lou Grant, loved him as the voice of Carl Fredrickson in #Up and thought he was the best Santa the screen has ever seen in #Elf#RIPEdAsner https://t.co/MipAAd9zij
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) August 29, 2021
Ed Asner, who won seven Emmy awards including five for the unforgettable role of Lou Grant, has passed away. He was a giant on the screen, and a philanthropist, too. A man of true heart and talent. He will be missed.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 29, 2021
Deeply sad re the passing of wonderful actor & former SAG president, Ed Asner.
We will miss his charming, pretend-gruff presence at all our board meetings and events.
He was an involved and passionate union stalwart his entire career & a deeply wonderful human#RIPEdAsner pic.twitter.com/tXyuQUwc9b
— Lisa Ann #VoteNoOnRecallCA Walter (@LisaAnnWalter) August 29, 2021
Heartbroken to have to say goodbye to legend and friend Ed Asner. He was always so kind to me and brought so much joy to this world. Sending love to @masner, friends and family. 💔 https://t.co/l4yDtLf7Hz
— Randy Rainbow (@RandyRainbow) August 29, 2021