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Edward Asner : Luke Spelman

Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe actor/activist Edward Asner.  Perhaps best known for his comedic and dramatic crossover as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show and continued in the newspaper-set drama Lou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards.  Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots.  His prolific and much honored acting career demonstrates a consummate ability to transcend the line between comedy and drama. 

One of the most honored actors in the history of television; Edward Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe Awards and served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms.  He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996.  Asner received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild's Hollywood membership.  In March 2002, he was again honored by The Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession. 

In addition to his professional versatility, Edward Asner has consistently served and committed himself to the rights of the working performer in addition to advocating for human rights, world peace, environmental preservation and political freedom.  A passionate and informed spokesperson for the causes he supports, Asner is a frequent speaker on labor issues and a particular ally for the acting industry's older artists.  Some of the many honors he has received throughout his career include the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, The Eugene Debs Award, Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, ACLU's Worker's Right's Committee Award and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award. 

Edward Asner has more than 100 TV credits, which include starring in the series Off the Rack, The Bronx Zoo and Thunder Alley.  Numerous guest appearances include roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm, ER, Arliss, The Practice and The Dead Zone...  Besides commercials and numerous books on tape, he has lent his voice to popular cartoon shows such as The Simpsons, Spiderman and Boondocks.  Asner's dozens of motion pictures include They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, Fort Apache the Bronx, JFK, and the European production of Giovanni XXIII - the highest rated television mini-series in the history of Italian TV. He played the role of Santa Claus in the box office hit, Elf and co-starred with John Goodman, Olympia Dukakis and Jean Smart on CBS in Center of the Universe, and starred in the Hallmark Channel’s Original movie Out of the Woods.