Celebrities and notable figures paid tribute to actor Ed Asner—best known for his role as newsman Lou Grant on the television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant —who died Sunday at 91.
Asner’s family announced his death on Twitter.
“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” the tweet said. “Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.”
Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1929, Asner was a celebrated actor, winning Emmy awards for his roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots, according to the Associated Press.
Throughout his career, Asner picked up more than 300 acting credits. In addition to television, Asner also appered in movies—he played Santa Claus in Elf in 2003 and voiced the role of Carl Fredricksen in Disney‘s Up in 2009.
Asner was also known for his political activism. As the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), he spoke out against U.S. involvement with repressive governments in Latin America.
He was married twice and had four children—Matthew, Liza, Kate and Charles.
Tributes poured in for the late actor on Sunday via social media.
Star Trek actor George Takei wrote: “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.”
Actor Randy Rainbow said he is “heartbroken” by the news of Asner’s death.
“Heartbroken to have to say goodbye to legend and friend Ed Asner. He was always so kind to me and brought so much joy to this world. Sending love to @masner, friends and family,” he wrote.
Journalist Katie Couric wrote on Instagram: “Ed Asner, forever Lou Grant to me. Thank you for the laughs and for a life of intelligence and integrity.”
Actor Josh Gad tweeted: “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.”
Jon Cryer, who worked with Asner in the 1994 movie Heads, posted: “A great performer and a great guy. Working with him and learning from him was an honor.”
The Screen Actors Guild Awards also paid tribute to the guild’s former president in a tweet: “The SAG Awards mourn the loss of former SAG President and 2001 SAG Life Achievement Recipient Ed Asner. His acting, leadership, and activism will always be remembered.”
SAG-AFTRA praised his activism in a statement later sent to Newsweek.
“There have been few actors of Ed Asner’s prominence who risked their status to fight for social causes the way Ed did,” Gabrielle Carteris, president of the union, said.
“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.”
Asner is the third Mary Tyler Moore star to pass away in recent months, including Cloris Leachman and Gavin MacLeod. Betty White, who is 99, is now the show’s only surviving main cast member.
Updated 5:10 PM ET, with a statement provided by SAG-AFTRA.
Original posted at www.newsweek.com