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,” and played Santa Claus in “Elf” alongside Will Ferrell.
“There have been few actors of Ed Asner’s prominence who risked their status to fight for social causes the way Ed did,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris in a statement. “He fought passionately for his fellow actors, both before, during and after his SAG presidency. But his concern did not stop with performers. He fought for victims of poverty, violence, war, and legal and social injustice, both in the United States and around the globe.”
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 was a fine man and a great actor. He was tough in the ways that count and suffered no fools. I acted with him just once and knew how lucky I was to do so. A hero. Rest in peace, Ed.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) August 29, 2021
Making my 1st film, Roger & Me, I was broke so I wrote to some famous people to ask for help. Only one responded: Ed Asner. “I don’t know you, kid, but here’s 500 bucks” said the note attached to the check. “Sounds like it’ll be a great film. I was an autoworker once.” R.I.P. Ed pic.twitter.com/AuGCNlyNnC
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 29, 2021
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
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
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
Ed Asner did so many things better than the rest of us. Goodnight, Ed. #RIP https://t.co/YsjqDaZv6o
— Curtis Armstrong (@curtisisbooger) August 29, 2021
Ed Asner was a talented actor and a very nice man. He always had a twinkle in his eye. Rest In Peace, Ed.
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) August 29, 2021
To know Ed, even a little, was a privilege. You could not find a more honorable person. He will be missed. Love to his wonderful family. https://t.co/uhSsdDDkC8
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 29, 2021
what a beautiful man #RIP ed – only love pic.twitter.com/IjGFRCdhfi
— ROSIE (@Rosie) August 29, 2021
Farewell #EdAsner, a wonderful man. He played my dad in the 1994 movie “Heads.” He was so robust and smart and kind and funny. We all loved to hang out with him. Some people you think will just hang on forever, and he was one of them. ? RIP.
(Clip by @SassFactoryKass) pic.twitter.com/HwcFOuMRiA
— Jennifer Tilly (@JenniferTilly) August 29, 2021
This one really hurts personally b/c not only did I get to work w/ this hero but I was just singing his praises earlier this month. Rest In Peace to the great actor, activist & humanitarian, #EdAsner. One of the BEST! Here’s a clip from #TheBoondocks https://t.co/ozWbHmtRqt
— Cedric Yarbrough (@cedricyarbrough) August 29, 2021
So sorry to hear this. One of the very best people. Rest In Peace dear #Edasner https://t.co/LtJT6QG10C
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) August 29, 2021
Loved Ed Asner. RIP
— marc maron (@marcmaron) August 29, 2021
Oh this hurts. ??????????? Rest In Peace Ed.
Not only an iconic award winning actor but a humanitarian and someone who I worked closely with to support #Autism families. Just crushing. #EdAsner pic.twitter.com/9wUwYZxQkJ
— Holly Robinson Peete ??♍️ (@hollyrpeete) August 29, 2021
Ed Asner won seven Emmys, helped organize a labor strike, played Santa Claus, voiced a Jedi, and that’s maybe like 2% of the things he did. Absolute legend. https://t.co/qlh6vz7gQe
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) August 29, 2021
Ed Asner, a total mensch. RIP, dear man.
— Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) August 29, 2021
Heartbroken. My admiration & respect for Ed are limitless but, more importantly, he was a dear friend. Poker buddies for decades, Ed sponsored me into @TheAcademy. His kindness, magnanimity and guidance will never be forgotten. My deepest condolences to his family. #RIPEdAsner pic.twitter.com/hrwxwUxBnE
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) August 29, 2021