Ed Asner, who played the role of news director/editor Lou Grant in two separate television shows, is dead at the age of 91.
Along with real news reporters like Walter Cronkite, Woodward and Bernstein and others, Asner, through the Grant character, probably helped inspire an entire generation of young people to enroll in journalism school and pursue careers in the news business.
Grant also performed in Connecticut at The Kate in Old Saybrook and Twitter is filled with photos of Asner with various Connecticut television reporters who met him there.
The line from the Mary Tyler Moore show that made it into his New York Times obituary:
“Mr. Asner was 40 when he was approached for the role of Lou Grant, the irascible but idealistic head of the fictional WJM television newsroom in Minneapolis and the boss of Ms. Moore’s Mary Richards. His place in television comedy history was secured when, during the first episode, he told Ms. Moore, an eager young job seeker, “You’ve got spunk,” then paused and added, “I hate spunk.”
In May, following the death of fellow MTM show actor Gavin MacLeod, Asner sent out a Tweet mentioning that he and Betty White(99) were the only surviving members of the show’s cast.