Ed Asner Dead: Josh Gad, Katie Couric and More Mourn ‘Lou Grant’ Actor

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When news broke Sunday that Ed Asner died at 91, Hollywood took to social media to pay tribute to the legendary actor, activist and philanthropist.

The former president of the Screen Actors Guild, Asner is best known for playing Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff series “Lou Grant.” He also voiced the lead, Carl Fredricksen, in Pixar’s Oscar-winning tear-jerker “Up.”

As one of the few TV actors to portray the same character in both a comedy and a drama, Asner is the most awarded male performer in Emmy history with seven wins — five of them for playing Lou Grant.

Asner was a series regular on “Thunder Alley,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “The Bronx Zoo,” and he earned Emmys for his performances on the miniseries “Roots” and “Rich Man, Poor Man.” Later in his life, Asner appeared in “Elf” alongside Will Ferrell and guest starred in “Cobra Kai.”

On social media, celebrities honored Asner’s work as an actor and philanthropist, as well as his activism as a labor leader.

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.”

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. pic.twitter.com/EAjuW9a3J5

— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 29, 2021

Katie Couric added on Instagram, “RIP Ed Asner, forever Lou Grant to me. Thank you for the laughs and for a life of intelligence and integrity. 1929-2021.”

See more reactions below.

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

Oh Ed Asner Rest In Peace and power friend. what a truly good and honorable human you were .gratitude for all you did for the screen Actors Guild ,when it was a true Union bless you. @Frances_Fisher @EllenBarkin

— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) August 29, 2021

RIP Ed Asner. A great star and a great labor leader. pic.twitter.com/bfTVUNRZ0C

— David A. Goodman (@DavidAGoodman) August 29, 2021

not ed asner please i cannot do this today

— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) August 29, 2021

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