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Ed Asner (1929-2021)


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11 hours ago, Dargo said:

I also watched that episode of Blue Bloods, lavender, and when it was first run  (I try never to miss a first run episode of that program) and yeah, I also thought Ed Asner's portrayal of Frank Reagan's first ever boss as the old movie theater owner was terrific. 

Asner was the true pro right to the very end, alright.

R.I.P.

(...btw, do you remember the movie trivia question that Asner asks Selleck in that episode?...and did you know the answer?...I did) 

Yes, he asks Selleck what movie were Steve McQueen and James Coburn in. Tom answers The Magnificent Seven. Then Ed asks him to name another they were in and he answers, Hell is For Heroes. They mention more films in the episode, Tom then talks about The Great Escape with Garner helping Donald Pleasence, comparing Selleck as Garner and Asner as Pleasence. The comparsion because Pleasence is going blind and Asner is also handicapped beacuse he's in a wheelchair. Garner will help Pleasence escape and Selleck will help Asner escape his apartment. Selleck also mentions going back to Selleck's house to watch old movies on TCM! When Selleck is back at the dinner table, he and his dad Henry mention a lot more films.

It was an excellent episode and Ed Asner was wonderful in  it. Tom Selleck and Ed Asner were great friends for many years.

(ps- you remember the question Ed asks Tom because it's about your lookalike, James Coburn, LOL)

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16 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Was it ever documented anywhere that Howard Hesseman's statements caused WKRP in Cincinnati to get removed from the schedule? I am not disbelieving you, but I don't recall ever reading about it.

I would say WKRP was a casualty of having too many time slots, which made it hard for fans to keep track of when it aired. CBS execs moved it around the schedule a lot. It only had one highly rated season near the beginning when it followed M*A*S*H. I remember reading that producer Hugh Wilson and CBS had continuous battles over the content of the show and if it should be aimed at younger viewers.

In the case of Hesseman, he was merely one person in a large cast on a 22-minute sitcom. It was an ensemble show, with Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump and Loni Anderson getting the most "exposure" and screen time. 

On Lou Grant, Ed was playing the title character. He was driving the show. And he was also the president of the Screen Actors Guild at the time so he had considerable clout on and off camera.

Just read some more about Lou Grant's cancellation, it seems that Asner sent out letters urging funding for the El Salvador opposition by writing. "My name is Ed Asner, I play Lou Grant on television" which probably also encouraged some wrath from CBS. The producers of the show, while not conservative in political opinions, were also begging Asner to tone down his comments because they wanted the show to go on. After the show was axed, Asner forever blamed himself for putting the whole cast and crew out of work and he never forgave himself for that.

The show had slipped to #43rd in the ratings (WKRP was lower, at #56), typically a bit of a danger zone for shows back then. And the Emmys, one of the main reasons CBS had kept it on the air, had dried up except for Nancy Marchand, as they were now fully in their Hill Street Blues phase.

For the record, there were two rookie CBS series that year that had worse ratings than both Lou and WKRP that were renewed: Simon and Simon (#70) and Cagney and Lacey (#64)

It's just a pity it could not have gone on a while longer.

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15 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Just read some more about Lou Grant's cancellation, it seems that Asner sent out letters urging funding for the El Salvador opposition by writing. "My name is Ed Asner, I play Lou Grant on television" which probably also encouraged some wrath from CBS. The producers of the show, while not conservative in political opinions, were also begging Asner to tone down his comments because they wanted the show to go on. After the show was axed, Asner forever blamed himself for putting the whole cast and crew out of work and he never forgave himself for that.

The show had slipped to #43rd in the ratings (WKRP was lower, at #56), typically a bit of a danger zone for shows back then. And the Emmys, one of the main reasons CBS had kept it on the air, had dried up except for Nancy Marchand, as they were now fully in their Hill Street Blues phase.

For the record, there were two rookie CBS series that year that had worse ratings than both Lou and WKRP that were renewed: Simon and Simon (#70) and Cagney and Lacey (#64)

It's just a pity it could not have gone on a while longer.

Interesting info. Thanks for digging and sharing.

Cagney & Lacey was a mid-season replacement in the spring of '82. It was brought back that fall in Lou Grant's old time slot though there was a slight retooling-- Sharon Gless replaced Meg Foster. But in 1983 it was cancelled and the new nighttime soap Emerald Point N.A.S. took its spot. However, a massive letter writing campaign to save C&L occurred. So in 1984 Emerald Point was axed and C&L was brought back where it remained on CBS' schedule until 1988.

Re: the Emmys, I believe Nancy Marchand was nominated all five years and won four times. 

As for Simon & Simon it found its groove when CBS placed it after Magnum P.I. It had very good ratings from season 2 through season 4, when it placed in the top 10. But then The Cosby Show came along and took a lot of Magnum's audience which affected Simon & Simon. However, S&S ran for eight seasons until 1989.

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12 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Knight was 62.  He died in 1986.

Here are the ages of the rest of the cast, *=still living as of today

Betty White 99*

Cloris Leachman 94

Ed Asner 91

Gavin MacLeod 90

John Amos 81*

Mary Tyler Moore 80

Valerie Harper 80

Georgia Engel 70

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51 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Here are the ages of the rest of the cast, *=still living as of today

Betty White 99*

Cloris Leachman 94

Ed Asner 91

Gavin MacLeod 90

John Amos 81*

Mary Tyler Moore 80

Valerie Harper 80

Georgia Engel 70

And...

Joyce Bulifant 83*

(...well, with 11 appearances on the show, and that being only 2 less than John Amos, I think she deserves a mention here TOO, Jim)

 

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10 minutes ago, Dargo said:

And...

Joyce Bulifant 83*

(...well, with 11 appearances on the show, and that being only 2 less than John Amos, I think she deserves a mention here TOO, Jim)

 

Oh yes, Marie, Murray's wife. She was very good in her appearances, especially on one episode when she reveals Murray is a compulsive gambler.

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56 minutes ago, jvirt53 said:

Last night caught Ed Asner's death scene in the John Wayne movie El Dorado. Very appropriate. 

A happy ending for a real socialist.

Funny, but I don't remember Asner's character Bart Jason, a wealthy land baron, bein' any sort'a "socialist" there, cowboy!

(...land barons usually don't lean that way, ya know)

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20 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I just put in an Inter-Library Loan request for the first season of "Lou Grant," a spin-off of 'MTM' featuring Asner's character in a dramatic role.  After being fired from WJM (along with everyone else, save for Ted), Lou moves to LA to work as an editor on the newspaper.  Throughout the run of MTM, it is obvious that Lou Grant missed his former career, doing more hard-hitting journalism.  There's even an entire episode where Lou gets a lead on a potentially corrupt politician running for office.  He gets excited about this opportunity for investigative journalism and is soon paying people off for information and everything he used to do as a reporter.  He also had an interesting relationship with Mary's Aunt Flo who is living the life and has the career that Lou wants. 

Anyway, I have never seen "Lou Grant."  It doesn't seem to have the afterlife in syndication that MTM has.  I'm excited that this show was available via the Inter-Library Loan system and I look forward to seeing it.

A very good series.  I liked it better than Mary Tyler Moore Show, but then it was a drama rather than a comedy.

The series ended when Asner was "fired" because of his liberal politics.

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4 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Funny, but I don't remember Asner's character Bart Jason, a wealthy land baron, bein' any sort'a "socialist" there, cowboy!

(...land barons usually don't lean that way, ya know)

Perhaps he is referring to Asner's real world politics?

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2 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Perhaps he is referring to Asner's real world politics?

Yeah, ya THINK?!!!  ;)

(...and which somehow reminded me of what Bruce Dern told John Wayne just before they filmed Wayne's death scene in The Cowboys...you know THAT one don't ya, Cid?!...that story STILL cracks me up every time I think of it)

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13 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, ya THINK?!!!  ;)

(...and which somehow reminded me of what Bruce Dern told John Wayne just before they filmed Wayne's death scene in The Cowboys...you know THAT one don't ya, Cid?!...that story STILL cracks me up every time I think of it)

Sorry, don't know that story.

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7 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Sorry, don't know that story.

I'll give ya the Reader's Digest version here then...

John Wayne: "Ya know, they're gonna HATE you throughout this country for what you're about to do in this scene, don't ya?!"

Bruce Dern: "Yeah, but they're gonna LOVE me in Berkeley!"

(...told ya it was funny, now didn't I?!)  ;)

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Wow.  I just heard about Asner's death 9:00 pm last night on the car radio when leaving my sister in law's house.  And THREE PAGES already!  I thought this meant there was a lot of LOVE for Asner here.  But not totally as it seems some here are picking him apart like vultures due to his politics.

Who gives a f**K?  I liked and admired Asner for his ACTING and certain roles and  appearances.  Sure, I liked his LOU GRANT character on MTM, and equally his continuing the character in his spin-off show.  

The abusive father  AXEL JORDACHE in the "Rich man, Poor Man" mini series....

The captain of the slave ship in the earlier ROOTS mini series episodes

His dying  businessman trying to reunite with his wife and estranged family on what might be his last Christmas in the TV movie THE GATHERING('77)

And the plethora of other small movie roles and TV appearances he made before MTM, LOU GRANT and since.  I recall spotting him in an old THE UNTOUCHABLES rerun and RAWHIDE and WAGON TRAIN too.

Rest In Peace, Ed.   you've worked hard enough.  ;) 

Sepiatone

 

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4 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Oh, and DARG---- I don't know what Dern said to Wayne  before THE COWBOYS death scene.   Fill me in please.  :) 

It's right up there above this post of yours here, Sepia.

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Wow.  I just heard about Asner's death 9:00 pm last night on the car radio when leaving my sister in law's house.  And THREE PAGES already!  I thought this meant there was a lot of LOVE for Asner here.  But not totally as it seems some here are picking him apart like vultures due to his politics.

Who gives a f**K?  I liked and admired Asner for his ACTING and certain roles and  appearances.  Sure, I liked his LOU GRANT character on MTM, and equally his continuing the character in his spin-off show.  

The abusive father  AXEL JORDACHE in the "Rich man, Poor Man" mini series....

The captain of the slave ship in the earlier ROOTS mini series episodes

His dying  businessman trying to reunite with his wife and estranged family on what might be his last Christmas in the TV movie THE GATHERING('77)

And the plethora of other small movie roles and TV appearances he made before MTM, LOU GRANT and since.  I recall spotting him in an old THE UNTOUCHABLES rerun and RAWHIDE and WAGON TRAIN too.

Rest In Peace, Ed.   you've worked hard enough.  ;) 

Sepiatone

 

Sepia, I think there was only one negative, nasty,  unfortunate "vulture" comment. There are so many positive, respectful comments, so many liked Ed Asner so much. Negative comments do not belong in a thread about someone's passing, it's disrespectful and mean.

 btw,  liked your post :)

 

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8 minutes ago, MrMagoo said:

It's pretty amazing that of the 5-6 main characters from the MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, Betty White is the only surviving member.

John Amos may not be considered a main character but he appeared often as Gordy the Weatherman and he's still alive. Betty is amazing. I read an interview when she was 96 and she said she drinks vodka and eats a hot dog and french fries most days for lunch !!!! she also said that her positive attitude in life is the reason for her longevity.

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7 minutes ago, lavenderblue19 said:

John Amos may not be considered a main character but he appeared often as Gordy the Weatherman and he's still alive. Betty is amazing. I read an interview when she was 96 and she said she drinks vodka and eats a hot dog and french fries most days for lunch !!!! she also said that her positive attitude in life is the reason for her longevity.

Yes, I did notice John Amos is still with us. I would call him the 7th most main character of TMTMS. Betty White is 98, I think. God bless her. She was like, 18-19 yrs old, when Charlie Watts was born.

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16 minutes ago, MrMagoo said:

Yes, I did notice John Amos is still with us. I would call him the 7th most main character of TMTMS. Betty White is 98, I think. God bless her. She was like, 18-19 yrs old, when Charlie Watts was born.

Betty is actually 99. 

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2 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Hard to believe, but the show premiered 50 years ago now.

Agreed.  While the show does make some references to current 1970s events and personalities, on the whole, it is a timeless show and not dated.  The issues and themes presented in the show were present in 1970 and are present now. For the most part, TMTMS focused on the relationships between people, which will always be a modern topic.  I remember when I discovered TMTMS as a 10-11 year old in 1994-1995 and loved it.  While some of the themes might have been lost to a 5th-6th grader, I still loved it.  I loved all the characters, especially Mary, Rhoda and Lou.  Even though I wasn't old enough to have watched the show when it was first run, it was one of the shows I grew up watching.  TMTMS is my second favorite show after "I Love Lucy."

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