Ed Asner

A legend of both comedy and drama in both film and television, Ed Asner had the distinction of being the only actor to win an Emmy in both genres for playing the same character, Lou Grant. A crusty, heavy-drinking TV news producer, Grant was a major presence on the iconic sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77) and its dramatic spin-off, "Lou Grant" (CBS, 1977-1982). A veteran of stages in New York and Chicago, Asner was a frequent guest star on shows like "The Fugitive" (ABC, 1963-67), "Ironside" (NBC, 1967-1975) and "Mission: Impossible" (CBS, 1966-1973), before landing the role of news director Lou Grant in 1970. After playing the role for laughs over seven seasons, CBS spun off the character into the drama series "Lou Grant," where Asner spent another five seasons as a newspaper editor confronting serious social and political issues that reflected his own outspoken opinions. From there, Asner frequently transitioned between film and television, playing drunken private investigator Guy Banister in "JFK" (1991) and Santa Claus in "Elf" (2003), as well as guesting on shows like "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002), "Touched by an Angel" (CBS, 1994-2003) and "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). Working well into his golden years, he also had a prominent career doing voiceover work, most notably playing the curmudgeonly Carl Fredrickson in the Pixar hit "Up" (2009). Despite his outspoken political activism, Asner remained impossible to dislike as well as one of Hollywood's hardest working performers.