“Despite a long and varied career, for many of us, the death of Asner on Sunday at age 91 reminded us of the loss of a fictional recreation that, perhaps for the first time in the mass media, reflected the complex reality of our profession.”
-Society of Professional Journalists, formerly Sigma Delta Chi, DePauw University
Lou Grant was shot through with light and dark humor, but underneath it portrayed the nuts-and-bolts process of “the daily miracle.” It acknowledged ethical issues such as plagiarism, checkbook journalism, entrapment of sources, staging news photos and conflicts of interest. That in itself was unique among most mainstream depictions of journalism. Still, it didn’t take things too seriously: The opening credits tracked the newspaper ending up as the liner in a birdcage.
Between the sardonic observations, the show examined with unusual-for-the-time honesty such topics as nuclear proliferation, mental illness, prostitution, gay rights, domestic violence, capitals punishment, child abuse, rape, and chemical pollution.
Asner then starred for five years on “Lou Grant,” set at “The Trib.”
- As Screen Actors Guild president, the liberal Asner was caught up in a controversy in 1982, during the Reagan years, when he spoke out against U.S. involvement with repressive governments in Latin America.
- “Lou Grant” was canceled during the furor. CBS blamed ratings.
P.S. Betty White, 99, who played home-show hostess Sue Ann Nivens, is the lone surviving major cast member of “Mary Tyler Moore.”
[Ed Asner & Gavin MacLeon]
Ed, after his friend and actor Gavin MacLeon died in May:
“My heart is broken. Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime (and food) and my comic conspirator,” wrote Asner. ” I will see you in a bit Gavin. Tell the gang I will see them in a bit. Betty! It’s just you and me now.”
[Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.]
Edward Asner died on Sunday, August 29th.
Never missed it. ~dayle