Ed Asner, who played newsman Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died this morning.
Asner was was surrounded by family in Los Angeles, publicist Charles Sherman said.
The news was also shared in a post on Asner’s official Twitter account. The post 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.”
Asner landed the role of WJM-TV news director Grant in in 1970. Originally portrayed as gruff and snappish, with his tie forever unknotted and a bottle of whiskey at the ready, his character mellowed over the show’s seven-year run to become a fan favorite.
When MTM co-star Gavin MacCleod died recently he posted this bitter sweet tribute:
The character was spun off into his own series, Lou Grant, a one-hour drama that ran from 1977 to 1982.
Asner continued in movies and television, popping up in such series as Mad About You, ER, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and even an episode of The X-Files. He played Santa Claus more than once, most notably in 2003’s Elf.
Asner appeared in a cameo that just aired on the recent episodes of Grace and Frankie.
Asner was never shy about airing his liberal political opinions. He headed the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985, regularly contributed to Democratic candidates and liberal causes.