Edward Asner - Rotten Tomatoes

Edward Asner

Highest Rated:   100% El Dorado (1967)
Lowest Rated:   9% The Bachelor (1999)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Kansas City, Kansas, USA
Raised in the only Jewish family in his neighborhood, American actor Ed Asner grew up having to defend himself both vocally and physically. A born competitor, he played championship football in high school and organized a top-notch basketball team which toured most of liberated Europe. Asner's performing career got its start while he was announcing for his high school radio station; moving to Chicago in the '50s, the actor was briefly a member of the Playwrights Theatre Club until he went to New York to try his luck on Broadway. Asner starred for several years in the off-Broadway production Threepenny Opera, and, toward the end of the '50s, picked up an occasional check as a film actor for industrial short subjects and TV appearances. Between 1960 and 1965, he established himself as one of television's most reliable villains; thanks to his resemblance to certain Soviet politicians, the actor was particularly busy during the spy-show boom of the mid-'60s. He also showed up briefly as a regular on the New York-filmed dramatic series Slattery's People. And though his film roles became larger, it was in a relatively minor part as a cop in Elvis Presley's Change of Habit (1969) that Asner first worked with Mary Tyler Moore. In 1970, over Moore's initial hesitation (she wasn't certain he was funny enough), Asner was cast as Lou Grant, the irascible head of the WJM newsroom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The popular series ran for seven seasons, during which time the actor received three Emmy awards. His new stardom allowed Asner a wider variety of select roles, including a continuing villainous appearance on the miniseries Roots -- which earned him another Emmy. When Moore ceased production in 1977, Asner took his Lou Grant character into an hour-long dramatic weekly about a Los Angeles newspaper. The show's title, of course, was Lou Grant, and its marked liberal stance seemed, to some viewers, to be an extension of Asner's real-life viewpoint. While Lou Grant was in production, Asner was twice elected head of the Screen Actors Guild, a position that he frequently utilized as a forum for his political opinions -- notably his opposition to U.S. involvement in Central America. When Asner suggested that each guild member contribute toward opposing the country's foreign policy, he clashed head to head with Charlton Heston, who wrested Asner's office from him in a highly publicized power play. Although no tangible proof has ever been offered, it was Asner's belief that CBS canceled Lou Grant in 1982 because of his politics and not dwindling ratings. The actor continued to prosper professionally after Lou Grant, however, and, during the remainder of the '80s and into the '90s, starred in several TV movies, had guest and recurring roles in a wide variety of both TV dramas and comedies, and headlining two regular series, Off the Rack and The Bronx Zoo. Slowed but hardly halted by health problems in the '90s, Asner managed to find time to appear in the weekly sitcoms Hearts Afire and Thunder Alley -- atypically cast in the latter show as an ineffective grouch who was easily brow-beaten by his daughter and grandchildren.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Ciao Ciao Bang Bang
  • Actor
2017
No Score Yet Joe's War
  • Actor
2017
No Score Yet Love Finds You in Valentine
  • Gabriel Morgan
2016
No Score Yet Behind the Fear: The Hidden Story of HIV
  • Actor
2016
No Score Yet Love Meet Hope
  • Actor
2016
No Score Yet Boonville Redemption
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet All of My Heart
  • Vern
2015
No Score Yet Actor? A Documentary
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet Compass Cabaret 55
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet The Nutcracker Sweet
  • Owl
2015
89% Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas
  • Santa
2014
71% Thunder and the House of Magic
  • Sr. Jeffrey McDonough
$1.7M 2014
No Score Yet Audrey
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Frozen in Time
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Axel: The Biggest Little Hero
  • Actor
2014
40% The Games Maker
  • Actor
2014
93% Casting By
  • Actor
$0.1M 2013
No Score Yet Second Chances
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet The Trial Of Adolph Eichmann
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Let Go
  • Artie Satz
2012
No Score Yet Hopelessly In June
  • Rabbi
2012
No Score Yet Elephant Sighs
  • Leo
2012
No Score Yet The Home
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Identical
  • Actor
2011
88% The Desert Of Forbidden Art
  • Artists' Voices
2011
No Score Yet The Heart Specialist
  • Mr. Olson
$1.1M 2011
No Score Yet Good Men
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet All-Star Superman
  • Perry White
2011
No Score Yet Too Big to Fail
  • Warren Buffett
2011
No Score Yet Hard Four
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
  • Actor
2010
93% Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg
  • Actor
$0.8M 2009
98% Up
  • Carl Fredricksen
$293.0M 2009
37% Gigantic
  • Mr. Weathersby
2009
No Score Yet Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage
  • Sidney
2008
No Score Yet Generation Gap
  • Bart Cahill
2008
No Score Yet Electile Dysfunction
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Channels
  • Ed Packard
2008
No Score Yet Missing, Presumed Dead: The Search for America's POWs
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Christmas Is Here Again
  • Krad
2007
No Score Yet The Christmas Card
  • Luke
2006
89% Sir! No Sir!
  • Voice of Col. Heinl
2006
No Score Yet Hard Four
  • Actor
2005
50% Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror
  • Narrator
2005
No Score Yet Extraña Obsesión
  • Jay Roth
2005
55% Sleeping Dogs Lie
  • Sheriff Delaney
2005
No Score Yet Out of the Woods
  • Jack Green
2005
No Score Yet Whispers of Angels: A Story of the Underground Railroad
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes
  • George Seldes
2004
No Score Yet Missing, Presumed Dead: The Search for America's POWs
  • Narrator
2004
No Score Yet National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure
  • Uncle Nick
2003
84% Elf
  • Santa
$173.4M 2003
No Score Yet Missing Brendan
  • George Calden
2003
No Score Yet The King and Queen of Moonlight Bay
  • Auggie Sinclair
2003
No Score Yet Plan Colombia: Cashing in on the Drug War Failure
  • Narrator
2002
No Score Yet The Man Who Saved Christmas
  • Charles Gilbert
2002
No Score Yet The Good Doctor
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Here's Looking at You, Kid!
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Pope John XXIII (Papa Giovanni - Ioannes Xxiii)
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet John XXIII
  • Actor
2002
30% The Animal
  • Chief Wilson
2001
No Score Yet In Search of Peace Part One: 1948-1967
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Perfect Game
  • Coach
2000
No Score Yet Common Ground
  • Ira
2000
No Score Yet Celebrating AFI
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Mars and Beyond
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Above Suspicion
  • Thomas O'Claire
2000
No Score Yet Bring Him Home
  • Geza Horvath
2000
No Score Yet Above Suspicion
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Olive, the Other Reindeer
  • Santa Claus
1999
9% The Bachelor
  • Gluckman
1999
No Score Yet O' Christmas Tree
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Love and Action in Chicago
  • Taylor
1999
No Score Yet Fumbleheads
  • Charlie Atwater
1999
No Score Yet The Story of Santa Claus
  • Nicholas Claus
1998
No Score Yet O' Christmas Tree
  • Nutcracker
1998
No Score Yet The Long Way Home
  • Actor
1997
29% Hard Rain
  • Uncle Charlie
1997
No Score Yet Dog's Best Friend
  • Jeep the Dog
1997
No Score Yet Payback
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Lt. Jack Patkanis
1997
No Score Yet Trial of Adolf Eichmann
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Gone in the Night
  • John Waters
1996
No Score Yet Spider-Man: Sins of the Fathers
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet Celebrating AFI
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Gargoyles: The Movie
  • Hudson
1995
No Score Yet Golem of L.A.
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Heads
  • Abner Abbot
1994
No Score Yet For the Living: The Story of The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Actor
1994
No Score Yet Jewish Holidays Video Guide
  • Actor
1994
36% Happily Ever After
  • Scowl
1993
40% Gypsy
  • Pop
1993
No Score Yet Cruel Doubt
  • Bill Osteen
1992
84% JFK
  • Guy Bannister
1991
No Score Yet Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus
  • Edward P. Mitchell
1991
No Score Yet Silent Motive
  • Van Drake
1991
No Score Yet Switched at Birth
  • Marx
1991
No Score Yet Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
  • Harvey Metcalfe
1990
No Score Yet Good Cops, Bad Cops
  • James Quinn
1990
42% Moon over Parador
  • Himself
1988
No Score Yet A Friendship in Vienna
  • Oscar Reikman
1988
No Score Yet Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night
  • Scalawag
1987
No Score Yet The Christmas Star
  • Horace McNickle
1986
No Score Yet Katie's Secret
  • Doctor Resnick
1986
No Score Yet Less Stress in 5 Easy Steps
  • Actor
1986
No Score Yet Hanged on a Twisted Cross: The Life, Convictions and Martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Actor
1986
43% Daniel
  • Jacob Ascher
1983
No Score Yet A Case of Libel
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet O'Hara's Wife
  • Bob O'Hara
1982
83% Fort Apache, the Bronx
  • Connolly
1981
No Score Yet A Small Killing
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet The Gathering
  • Adam Thornton
1977
No Score Yet Gus
  • Hank Cooper
1976
No Score Yet The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Hey, I'm Alive
  • Ralph Flores
1975
No Score Yet Death Scream
  • Singleton
1975
No Score Yet The Wrestler
  • Frank Bass
1974
No Score Yet The Girl Most Likely to...
  • Det. Ralph Varone
1973
No Score Yet Haunts of the Very Rich
  • Al Hunsicker
1972
No Score Yet Skin Game
  • Plunkett
1971
No Score Yet A Dangerous Friend
  • Fred Reardon
1971
No Score Yet They Call It Murder
  • Chief Otto Larkin
1971
60% They Call Me Mister Tibbs
  • Woody Garfield
1970
No Score Yet Halls of Anger
  • McKay
1970
10% Change of Habit
  • Lt. Moretti
1969
No Score Yet The Venetian Affair
  • Frank Rosenfeld
1967
No Score Yet Gunn
  • Lt. Jacoby
1967
100% El Dorado
  • Bart Jason
1967
No Score Yet The Slender Thread
  • Det. Judd Ridley
1965
60% The Satan Bug
  • Veretti
1965
No Score Yet Kid Galahad
  • Asst. Dist. Atty. Frank Gerson (uncredited)
1962
No Score Yet Christmas Classics
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Bones
2005
  • Rufus Tucker
  • 2017
No Score Yet Criminal Minds
2005
  • Roy Brooks
  • 2015
97% The Good Wife
2009-2016
  • Guy Redmayne
  • 2015
75% Chasing Life
2014-2015
  • Actor
  • 2014
8% Men at Work
2012-2013
  • Actor
  • 2014
No Score Yet Mom
2013
  • Jack
  • 2014
No Score Yet Betty White's Off Their Rockers
2012-2014
  • Appearing
  • 2013
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • Actor
  • 2013
55% The Crazy Ones
2013-2014
  • Mr. Finger
  • 2013
No Score Yet The Glades
2010-2013
  • Actor
  • 2013
No Score Yet Hawaii Five-0
2010
  • August March
  • 2012
No Score Yet Regular Show
2010
  • Voice
  • 2012
No Score Yet The Middle
2009
  • Ben
  • 2012
No Score Yet Hot in Cleveland
2010-2015
  • Jameson
  • 2012
  • 2011
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest
  • 2012
  • 2011
No Score Yet Independent Lens
1999
  • Voice
  • 2011
No Score Yet Royal Pains
2009
  • Ted Ted Roth
  • 2011
No Score Yet American Dad (target for inaccurate feed data)
2005
  • Voice
  • 2011
  • 2010
No Score Yet The Cleveland Show
2009-2013
  • Voice
  • 2011
  • 2010
No Score Yet The Boondocks
2005-2014
  • Voice
  • 2010
  • 2005
No Score Yet CSI: NY
2004-2013
  • Abraham Klein
  • 2009
No Score Yet ER
1994-2009
  • Dr. James McNulty McNulty
  • 2003
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
  • 2002
  • 1999
98% Curb Your Enthusiasm
2000-2011
  • Actor
  • 2001
No Score Yet Family Guy
1999
  • Voice
  • 2001
No Score Yet Lass es, Larry!
2000
  • Actor
  • 2001
No Score Yet The X-Files
1993-2016
  • Maurice
  • 1998
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest
  • 1984

Quotes from Edward Asner's Characters