Monday, September 8, 2014
ED ASNER: AN ACTOR FOR ALL SEASONS
To Mary Richards, the insecure newspaper columnist on television, he was her grumpy curmudgeon of a boss, Lou Grant. In the animated world, he was the gruff speaking Carl Fredericksen in the Disney Pixar film "Up" where he takes a memorable balloon ride with an eager to please Boy Scout. He has also popped up on "Royal Pains," "Hot in Cleveland," "Roots," "Rich Man, Poor Man," "Hawaii Five-0," "Law and Order: SVU" as well as a host of others.
To become reacquainted with the stage, screen and television star Ed Asner, in an up close and personal way, plan on attending "Ed Asner - A Live Interview on Stage," part of the American Legend Series on Sunday, September 14 at 3 p.m. This spirited discussion, which includes film clips of his long and varied career will take place at The Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield (exit 47, off the Merritt). Jerry Goehring, the Executive Director of The Edgerton Center, will conduct the interview in the style of an 'Actors Studio' format. Audience members will have the chance to ask questions of this honored actor.
At the age of 84, Ed Asner can reflect back on a colorful career that started on the assembly line at General Motors. While in Europe, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps where he stepped on stage to perform for the first time. After his military service, he joined the Playwrights Theatre Company in Chicago but quickly changed directions to head to New York City to become part of the comedy troupe The Second City. Cast in detective shows, dramas, and westerns and even as the voice of Napoleon the cat, it wasn't until he landed the job as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970 that he truly made his mark. After the series ended, Asner was given his own show "Lou Grant" that played from 1977 to 1982, not a comedy but an hour long drama about journalism.
Whether he plays Captain Davies, the conflicted captain of a slave ship, on "Roots," an equally dark role as Axel Jordache on "Rich Man, Poor Man," a former Pope on "Papa Giovanni," a famed orator Edward Everett on "The Gettysburg Address," Asner brings a distinction and commitment to every role. On the lighter side, he regularly appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in a bit entitled "Does This Impress Ed Asner?" where contestants performed stunts to wow the star.
For tickets ($25, senior $15, students $10), call The Edgerton Center at 203-371-7908 or online at EdgertonCenter.org.
Come meet Ed Asner, a man who has won more Emmy Awards than any other male actor, seven in all, five for Lou Grant. Come by entertained by a master.