The Chronicle

TV legend Ed Asner dead at 91

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Veteran US television actor and activist Ed Asner, winner of a record seven Emmy awards, has died at the age of 91.

“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning, peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel,” his family wrote on the actor’s Twitter account.

“With a kiss on your head – Goodnight dad. We love you.”

His publicist said Asner (pictured) died of natural causes.

Asner made a name for himself playing the newsroom boss Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the iconic sitcom that ran from 1970 to 1977, and then later on a spin-off show centred on his character.

He won three of his seven Emmys for playing the character, and is one of only two actors to win a comedy and drama Emmy for the same role on different shows.

Asner won himself a new generation of fans with his portrayal of another tough guy with a heart of gold: widower Carl Fredericks­en in the 2009 animated movie Up, which was nominated for an Oscar.

A liberal activist, he participat­ed in protests in support of labour unions and against the death penalty. He also served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild.

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