Ed Asner Dies at 91


Ed Asner answered questions at the Banff World Media Festival. Photo by the Canadian Press.

On Sunday, Aug. 29, Ed Asner, the voice of Carl Fredrickson from the 2009 film “Up”, died of natural causes in his home in Tarzana at the age of 91. His family via Twitter posted the news saying, “We are sorry to say our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully.” 


Asner was given three Emmy Awards for his roles in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” for playing the news director and producer and later earned two more for his role in “Lou Grant” after “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ended, and “Lou Grant” won a spin-off. This achievement made him one of the two actors ever to win a Drama and Comedy Emmy for the same role on different shows.


He also earned Emmys for his work in the ABC miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man” as well as in 1977s “Roots”. Outside of live-action roles, Asner also did voice acting. Like J. Jonah Jameson in the 1990s animated “Spiderman” series and Ed Wuncler on “The Boondocks” in 2005. He then came into the limelight again in 2009 when he played Carl Fredrickson in Pixar’s “Up” and was nominated for the Oscar Best Picture. 


Asner was born on Nov. 15, 1929, in Kansas City, Mo. He studied Journalism in Chicago until his teacher warned him of the little pay; he moved on to drama. Here, he had his debuting role as Thomas Beckett in the production of T.S Elliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral.”


In his final interview with THR’s Scott Feinberg on Aug. 16, Asner looked back on his long life and career. Asner is quoted as saying, “If it weren’t for my bad leg, I would feel younger.” He went on to say, “I’ve got many parts that need to be bolstered and refurbished, and I haven’t got time to undergo all those changes.”


When asked about his bucket list, he stated, “I have not climbed Suribachi! No, I think just ensuring that I’ve left enough for the family.” 


In the same interview, he said, “I’m proud of what I’ve done. There were times when I felt terribly alone when I wished Stormtroopers would come and rescue me. But I was also given a feeling of nobility about my life. How do you buy that?”