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Ed Asner, voice of Carl Fredricksen in Pixar's ‘Up,’ passes away at 91

By Kara Santos Published Aug 30, 2021 3:51 pm

Emmy-award winning actor Ed Asner, best-known for playing fictional TV newsman Lou Grant and voicing the elderly widower Carl in the Pixar film Up, passed away "peacefully" on Sunday morning. He was 91.

“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head. Goodnight dad.  We love you,” his family tweeted with his official account on Aug. 30.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1929, the veteran actor has worked for many years as a character actor in series television and movies. He moved to Hollywood in 1961 and began his acclaimed career in television and film, with his breakout role as Lou Grant, Mary Richards's boss on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s.

Grant, the editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune, became a character in his own show from 1977 to 1982. The role helped earn Asner seven Emmy awards across his career, the most for a male performer. 

However, Asner became known to a new generation of audiences by playing elderly widower Carl Fredricksen in the 2009 animated hit Up.

The news comes just days before Dug Days, a spinoff series of the film set to premiere on Disney Plus, where Asner reprised his poignant voice role.

Ed was our real life Carl Fredricksen: a veneer of grouch over an incredibly loving and kind human being. Russell, Dug, and all of us at Pixar will miss him terribly,” Pixar’s account tweeted following the news.

Asner also played Santa Claus in the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy Elf. Other notable appearances on TV include roles in The X-Files, ER, Mad About You, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. 

More recently Asner appeared on Grace & Frankie, Cobra Kai, and provided voices for American Dad!

Rest in peace, Mr. Fredricksen. 

(Images via Pixar/IMDB)