The world is grieving after the loss of one of Hollywood’s favorites. Actor Ed Asner passed away Sunday, surrounded by family. He was 91-years-old. Now, those who knew him best are sharing their heartfelt memories of the beloved “Mary Tyler Moore” star.
Actress Maureen McCormick of “The Brady Bunch” spoke fondly of Asner in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. She said he inspired her love of acting, and would later encourage her to keep going and pursuing roles.
“It’s because of Ed that I even wanted to get into this business — seeing him and everyone on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. When I was growing up, I would sit with my family and watch every episode of it. I never dreamed that I would be able to work with him or know him, but I just fell in love with him and his character,” McCormick said in the interview.
More Than an Actor
Asner’s storied career began on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” throughout the 1970s and into the 80s. However, he went on to entertain in his own spinoff show “Lou Grant”, which is where McCormick would have the chance to work with him.
“Then, years later, a few years after The Brady Bunch ended, I got a role on Lou Grant, and I was so nervous because it was a dramatic role and I really wanted to play it well,” the acress explained. “But I was so embraced by Ed — the star of the show — that I was overwhelmed. He just couldn’t have been more giving and kind and wanting me to succeed, and I was so touched by that.”
Further, Asner’s performance in television earned him several awards, including the most amount of Emmy wins in history. However, he would continue on to the silver screen starring in several roles and working with the likes of John Wayne and Kevin Costner.
Ed Asner’s Charity Work
But perhaps his greatest work was offscreen. The actor was known for his charitable foundation, The Ed Asner Family Center -which McCormick remembers fondly.
“I’d see him here and there through the years — and particularly because of one of the things that was so near and dear to Ed’s heart: his foundation [The Ed Asner Family Center], which was for people with intellectual disabilities,” McCormick said.
The actress added:
“We really connected over that because it means so much to me and my brother, who has intellectual disabilities. I can’t say enough about Ed’s heart — he was just a really good human being, so kind. I could look in Ed’s eyes and he wouldn’t have to say a word.”
McCormick recognizes Asner’s legacy as a major Hollywood talent. But the actress speaks more of his heart and how he was always fighting for “the underdog”. She said he’s the kind of person we “need now more than ever”.
The lovable man from Missouri leaves big shoes to fill. He will be missed greatly by all, McCormick said.