Obituary by Harley Schlanger
Ed Asner, with Harley Schlanger, following a performance of “FDR” in Galveston, Texas in 2012.
August 30 -- Ed Asner, a much-honored American actor, who was a civil rights and anti-war activist, passed away yesterday at 91 years old. He won multiple Emmys for his performances in two popular tv series, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Lou Grant." Later, as President of the Screen Actors Guild in the mid-1980s, his role in leading the fight to expose the "Iran-Contra affair", the dirty war in Nicaragua directed by then-Vice President Bush, likely led to his blacklisting in Hollywood in the mid-to-late 1980s, which did not deter him from continuing to speak out boldly on many issues. In later years, he re-emerged as a character actor, with many film and television credits.
Asner became familiar with the LaRouche movement in the early 2000s, beginning with his expression of interest in our fight to expose the corruption of the Bush-Cheney administration during the Enron deregulation crisis in California in 2001. He also was very supportive of the role of the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) in the fight against the 2003 Recall of Gov. Davis, and our campaign against Davis' replacement by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He attended two town meetings in Los Angeles sponsored by the LaRouche movement, as well as several of the weekly drama workshops conducted with LYM members under the direction of Robert Beltran. He expressed to Lyndon LaRouche, in several meetings, his great admiration for the Schiller Institute's fight for a cultural Renaissance. The meetings with Lyn were spirited and delightful dialogues, full of sharing of ironic observations about the world, covering a full range of issues, from the evil of the policy of "endless wars" -- which were just beginning -- to the ongoing degeneration of contemporary civilization, to Ed's joy at discovering common enthusiasm for Shakespeare and the Yiddish Renaissance.
Never corrupted by Hollywood, nor intimidated by his political opponents, he remained devoted to the cause of freedom and justice for all, and spoke out to the end of his life. Though his health was in decline in recent years, he gave a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence at a Schiller Institute conference in 2020.