Sean Astin Pens Heartfelt Message in Wake of Ed Asner’s Passing: ‘What a Life’

by Leanne Stahulak

After legendary actor Ed Asner died on Sunday at age 91, people from all over the entertainment industry mourned his passing with heartfelt messages.

Yesterday, “The Goonies” actor Sean Astin also took to Twitter to share his grief. Astin grew up knowing Asner, who was actively involved in the Screen Actor’s Guild like Astin’s mother, Patty Duke. Astin references the lessons he learned from Ed Anser in his Twitter tribute.

“Ed Asner meant so much to so many for so many reasons. What a life,” Astin wrote. “Colleague of my Dad, shepherded my Mom into the Union Presidency, whooped my ass at poker, fought against war & lies, fought a lifetime for our Union & stood up to it just the same. Sending love to his family.”

Astin’s dad, John Astin, starred in the animated and original live-action “The Addams Family” TV series. He also worked extensively as a voice actor for different animated shows, like Ed Asner did. Patty Duke is well-known for films “Valley of the Dolls,” “The Miracle Worker,” and “Billie.”

Though it doesn’t look like Astin and Asner shared screentime together, they definitely shared a special bond with one another. Astin was one of many Hollywood names to honor the comedy legend, and he wasn’t the first to bring up Asner’s revolutionary work with the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG).

Ed Asner Leaves Incredible SAG Legacy Behind

According to Deadline, Ed Asner served not only as a SAG president but also as a SAG-AFTRA national board member and SAG Life Achievement Award recipient. The outlet says Asner became involved with the entertainment union during the 1980 SAG strike. Shortly after the strike, Asner was elected president of SAG, serving from 1981-1985.

Asner continuously fought for and upheld his political convictions, from his criticism of U.S. activity in Central America to his dislike for President Ronald Reagan. Some say CBS canceled Asner’s highly popular show “Lou Grant” because of his outspoken political beliefs.

But Sean Astin appreciated Ed Anser’s dedication to his beliefs and to helping actors secure better rights as employees. Astin saw his own mother take up Asner’s reins when she was elected SAG president from 1985-1988. Now, Astin’s put forth his own candidacy for the National Board of the Los Angeles Board of SAG-AFTRA.

A few weeks ago, Astin released a statement declaring his candidacy for the position Ed Anser once held.

“Fellow Members of #SagAftra, With 40 years of membership under my belt, it is time for me to serve. Remembering my mother, Patty Duke’s legacy as president of our union & with deep appreciation for her service, I respectfully ask for your vote,” he wrote.

“I’m very proud, that as I throw my hat in the ring for the first time, I’m running on the #MembershipFirst slate for the National Board of the Los Angeles Local Board and as a delegate. I would ask that you support my dear friend of over thirty years Matthew Modine for President and my other dear friend of over thirty years, Joely Fisher for Secretary Treasurer.”