Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe actor/activist and seven-time Emmy® Award winner Edward Asner. Asner starred as Carl Fredricksen in Pixar's 2009 box-office-hit “UP,” which won Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score at the 67th Annual Golden Globe® Awards as well as receiving The Outstanding Animated Film Award at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.
Asner is best known for his comedic and dramatic crossover as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and continued in the newspaper-set drama “Lou Grant,” which earned him five Emmy® Awards and three Golden Globe® Awards. Asner received two more Emmy® and Golden Globe® Awards for the mini-series “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Roots.” His prolific and much honored acting career demonstrates a consummate ability to transcend the line between comedy and drama.
Asner has more than 100 TV credits, which include starring in the series “Off the Rack,” “The Bronx Zoo” and “Thunder Alley.” Numerous guest appearances include roles in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “ER,” “Arliss,” “The Practice” and a recurring role on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” Besides commercials and numerous books on tape, he has lent his voice to popular cartoon shows such as “The Simpsons,” “Spiderman” and “Boondocks.” Asner's dozens of motion pictures include “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!,” “Fort Apache the Bronx,” “JFK,” and the European production of “Giovanni XXIII,” the highest rated television mini-series in the history of Italian TV. He also starred in the box office hit “Elf” with Will Farrell and James Caan, and has done several Hallmark Channel Original Movies, including 2006’s “The Christmas Card,” for which he was nominated for an Emmy® for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. He also garnered an Emmy® nomination for a guest appearance on “CSI/NY.”
In 2012, Asner completed multiple guest star appearances on the CBS primetime series “Hawaii Five-O,” reprising his role from 25 years ago. He also guest starred on TV Land’s “Hot In Cleveland” with Betty White, completed a guest starring role on the ABC series “The Middle” starring Patricia Heaton and went on to guest star as Henry Winkler’s father on USA Network’s “Royal Pains.” He also stars opposite Carol Kane in the upcoming indie feature film “Should've Been Romeo,” a slice of life drama also starring Paul Ben Victor, which premiered at The Newport Film Festival and is touring festivals across the country.
In 2011, Asner portrayed Warren Buffet in the critically acclaimed HBO telefilm drama “Too Big To Fail” starring William Hurt, Paul Giamatti, James Woods, Topher Grace and Tony Shalhoub, directed by Curtis Hanson. He also starred in the CMT primetime sitcom series “Working Class” as Hank Krasny, the local butcher also starring Melissa Peterman and Patrick Fabian.
Asner also recently starred in the 2011 indie feature “Let Go,” a comedy drama in which he portrays an ex-con on parole opposite David Denman, Jack Carter, Garrett Morris directed by Brian Jet. He also was featured in the comedy “Not Another B Movie” directed by John Wesley Norton.
After a long hiatus from the stage, Asner was recently starring on Broadway in the comedy drama Grace opposite Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon and Kate Arrington which was written by Craig Wright and directed by Dexter Bullard. Asner has also been touring the country as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the critically acclaimed one man show FDR which he has been doing for over three years.
One of the most honored actors in the history of television, Asner has served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996, and received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild's Hollywood membership. In March 2002, he was again honored by the Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession. In 2012, Asner was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Garden State Film Festival, and also honored and received the 2nd Annual Betty White Award for Actors and Others for Animals.
In addition to his professional versatility, Asner has consistently served and committed himself to the rights of the working performer in addition to advocating for human rights, world peace, environmental preservation and political freedom. A passionate and informed spokesperson for the causes he supports, Asner is a frequent speaker on labor issues and a particular ally for the acting industry's older artists. Some of the many honors he has received throughout his career include the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, The Eugene Debs Award, Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, ACLU's Worker's Right's Committee Award and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.