Ed Asner: How Many Emmys Did the Late Acting Legend Win?

by Keeli Parkey

The entertainment world lost one of the most successful actors in the history of television. That actor was Ed Asner. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” star was 91 years old at the time of his death on Sunday, Aug. 29.

During his decades-long career, Asner was honored for his work on many different occasions. In total, the man famous for playing the hard-nosed, yet lovable Lou Grant, won seven Primetime Emmy Awards, according to IMDb. These seven Emmys put him at the top of the all-time list for male actors.

In addition to winning more Emmy Awards than any other male actor in television history, Ed Asner also holds another interesting record. Unsurprisingly, this achievement centers around the character of Lou Grant.

Asner played the newsman in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1970 through 1977. After this beloved sitcom left the air, the actor resumed the role in one of its spinoff series. This, of course, was “Lou Grant.” This show, which aired from 1977 through 1982 was more of a drama than its predecessor.

Ed Asner won Emmys for playing Lou Grant in both “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Lou Grant.” This makes him the only actor who has won Emmys for playing the same character in a drama and in a comedy. Actress Uzo Aduba has also won Emmys as the same character in both a comedy and a drama. She did so for her role as “Crazy Eyes” in “Orange Is the New Black.” That show changed its categorization from comedy to drama.

Here’s a Look at Ed Asner’s Emmy Award Nominations and Wins

According to his biography on the official website of the Emmy Awards, Ed Asner was nominated for 17 Primetime Emmys. His last nomination came in 2009. As previously said, he won seven of those prized awards. Also, in 1996 he was inducted into the Emmy Hall of Fame.

Asner’s first Emmy win came in 1971. And, unsurprisingly, it was the award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Comedy as Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

He won the same award in 1972 and 1975. Then in 1976, he won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series. He earned this award for his performance in “Rich Man, Poor Man.”

In 1977, Ed Asner won the Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series. This award came thanks to his work in “Roots.”

He won again for playing Lou Grant in 1978. This was for his work in the “Lou Grant” series. This Emmy was for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He won the same award for his work in “Lou Grant” in 1980.