A look at some Ed Asner non-Lou Grant roles

Edward Asner’s title card for The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. episode The Double-O-Nothing Affair

Actor Edward Asner has died at age 91. He, understandably, is receiving acclaim for a long career including playing Lou Grant on two series (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a comedy, and Lou Grant, a drama).

What follows are some of his acting credits of interest to the blog:

The Double-O-Nothing Affair, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.: Asner played a Thrush chieftain whose headquarters is based at a used-car dealership. It’s an outlandish concept, but Dean Hargrove’s script makes it work. The story also makes April Dancer (Stefanie Powers) and Mark Slate (Noel Harrison) look like smart, competent agents. That wasn’t always the case with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. spinoff. Asner, as usual, makes a great villain.

The Night of the Amnesiac, The Wild Wild West: Secret Service agent James West (Robert Conrad) loses his memory just as Asner’s villain gets his way out of prison. The villain’s gang has been taken over by his brother. The brothers hate each other but Asner’s character gets the advantage. Asner complains how killing family members makes him depressed.

Hawaii Five-O/Five-0 (original and reboot): Asner played villain August March in both versions of the series. He was a highlight in both.

The FBI: Asner played a kidnapper in two episodes. In The Tormentors (season one), Asner is more stable of the kidnappers who have seized a young man (Kurt Russell) who is the son of an aging rich man (Lew Ayres). Asner’s character is done in by his sickly and disturbed partner (Wayne Rogers). In The Dynasty (third season), Asner and his nephew (Martin Sheen) have kidnapped a man who runs a family business. Asner’s character is nasty and not well educated. His idea of reading is looking at Superboy comic books. In The Attorney (fourth season), Asner plays a sympathetic character, a working-class stiff whose daughter (Dawn Wells) is involved with a Cosa Nostra crime boss.

House on Greenapple Road: This TV movie was made by Quinn Martin, the producer of The FBI. Asner was part of a stellar cast (Janet Leigh, Christopher George Peter Mark Richman, Lynda Day George, Keenan Wynn, Walter Pidgeon, Joanne Linville and others) about a murder investigation with many twists. Asner plays a county sheriff, hungry for publicity and an overall louse. The TV movie was made in 1968 but not shown until 1970. It led to QM’s Dan August series.

2 Responses

  1. Great mentions here, and Thank You for that!

    In addition (since researching Emmys anyway for another purpose) here are the awards:

    Winner Hall of Fame, 96
    Winner Lead Actor, Drama, LG, 79, 78
    Winner Single Perf, Supporting, Roots, 77
    Winner Lead Single Appear, Drama, Rich Man, 76
    Winner, Outstanding Continuous Perf, Supporting, MTM, Comedy, 75, 72, 71

    Except for Roots, he was so much himself in the roles, yet convincing and effective characters! Comedy or Drama, Single Perf., Lead or Supporting. The Wins (plus Nominations) earned so consistently is really something!

  2. Great article by bill koenig on the late legendary hollywood actor Edward ashner. Theres so much credits in prime time popular t v drama’s of the (1960s) (1970s) (1980s) (1990s) era’s. Just recently i’ve been viewing him in my “the fugitive” (1960s) dvd collection and “mission impossible” (1960s) dvd collection. His longevity in the entertainment industry probably lasted much longer than i mentioned above. The late edward ashner R.i .P.

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