‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ Star Ed Asner Earned Unique Emmys Accomplishment for ‘Lou Grant’ Role

by Keeli Parkey

Ed Asner’s portrayal of Lou Grant on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ is one of the more memorable performances in the history of classic television. In fact, his performance as the character was so well received that it led to an accomplishment that is still unmatched.

Asner first portrayed the hard-nosed Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” This wildly popular classic sitcom aired on CBS from 1970 until 1977.

Thanks to the success of the program, Lou Grant got his own television show. It was appropriately titled “Lou Grant” and aired on CBS from 1977 until 1982. (Side note: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” also led to two other spinoffs. One of these was “Rhoda” which ran from 1974 until 1978. The other was “Phyllis” and it aired from 1975 until 1977. Both of these spinoffs also aired on CBS.)

Ed Asner’s work as Lou Grant on both “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant” was very well received. According to information available on IMDb.com, the actor won an Emmy Award for his work as “Lou Grant” while appearing on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” This Emmy Award was for “Best Supporting Actor for a Comedy Series.” Later, Asner was awarded another Emmy while playing the character on “Lou Grant.” This Emmy Award was for “Best Lead Actor for a Drama Series.”

According to IMDb.com, the two Emmy Awards make Ed Asner the lone individual who has won such awards for his work as the same character. That’s something to be proud of, for sure. And, as beloved as Lou Grant was thanks to Asner’s work, those awards were well-deserved.

You can watch Ed Asner talking about the television show “Lou Grant” below.

Ed Asner Wasn’t the Only Actor on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ to Win an Emmy

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” remains essential viewing for any fan of classic television. Actor Ted Knight, who portrayed news anchor Ted Baxter on the popular show, was essential to its comedic success.

According to an article on CheatSheet.com, Knight had his struggles while on the show. In fact, he almost quit during its third season. The actor’s role on the show was to play a character that was – let’s say – less than smart. WJM-TV anchor Ted Baxter was arrogant and out for himself. That made him an easy target for many jokes. So easy in fact that the show went to that well time and time and time again to great effect.

Knight excelled at his role as Ted Baxter. In fact, he was awarded two Emmys for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, according to the article. At one point, the actor wanted to leave the show. Luckily, he decided to stay on.

In addition to Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, and Ted Knight, the show also included television legends such as Betty WhiteCloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, and Gavin MacLeod.

Leachman was a fan favorite on the show. She even won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for her work on the program. She passed away earlier this year.