For the most part, Ed Asner was known for his career as an actor. He made his film debut in the 1962 American musical film, Kid Galahad and also landed the lead role in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Lou Grant which earned him seven Primetime Emmys and five Golden Globe awards.
Aside from acting, Asner was the former president of the Screen Actors Guild and a highly vocal activist speaking out on behalf of labor unions. The late actor is also a loving father to his four children, Matthew, Liza, Kate, and Charles.
Asner married his first wife, Nancy Sykes, in 1959 and the couple welcomed twins, a son Matthew and a daughter, Liza in 1963. Asner and Sykes had a third child, Kate, in 1966 before the ex-couple finalized their divorce in 1988 after close to two decades of marriage.
The late actor began a relationship with Carol Jean Vogelman with whom he welcomed a fourth child, Charles in 1987. The pair broke up and Asner tied the knot with his second wife, Cindy Gilmore in 1988. However, the duo divorced in 2015 and didn’t welcome any children together.
“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” they captioned the tweet on their father’s official Twitter page. “Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head — Goodnight dad. We love you.”
Meet Ed Asner’s four children:
Following in his father’s footsteps, Matthew also got into the entertainment industry as an actor. However, he did not get the same recognition as his father, thus, he decided to stay out of the spotlight. He switched careers and became a prominent film producer holding credits for movies like Femme Fatale, 100 Voices: A Journey Home, and Saidoweizu. The 59-year-old doubles as the CEO and President of The Ed Asner Family Center.
The producer has been married thrice. He tied the knot with his first wife, Jules Asner, in 1992 and they separated in 1996 after having a child together. Matt got married to his second wife, Joyce Baptiste on December 31, 1998, and they welcomed a child but the union did not last long. The 59-year-old found love again and married his long-time girlfriend, Navah Paskowitz, a divorcee with four children from her earlier marriage in November 2014. The couple has no children together.
Liza is Matthew’s twin sister. Like her brother, she also enjoyed the care of both parents until their divorce. Following the same direction as Matthew, Liza is also a producer and director. The 59-year-old had earlier worked as a booking agent and producer for the TV show God Help Us and also as an associate producer at Quince Productions.
She is credited for her contribution to projects like Back of a Book, My Friend is Ed, and Be Careful What You Wish For. She is neither married nor in a relationship.
Asner’s youngest daughter Kate followed in her father’s footsteps and took up acting and has appeared in notable films like What Women Want, and Open Season. The 56-year-old also has guest appearances in shows like Ally McBeal, Malcolm in the Middle, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Like her elder sister, Kate is yet to settle down to a life of marriage as it appears that she is still pursuing her career. The actress does not have any children of her own.
Charles was born during a fling with Carol Jean Vogelman while Asner was still married to his first wife. His birth sparked a scandal that eventually resulted in a legal battle when Carol’s ex-husband, David Stone, complained that “his $3,000-a-month alimony payment was being used to support a child that wasn’t his.”
A 1988 article published by Deseret News revealed that when Asner found out about the child, he assumed responsibility. “Actor Ed Asner has admitted he fathered a 10-month-old boy out of wedlock and agreed to pay more than $2,100 a month in child support,” the article wrote. “Asner also must pay the mortgage on a $300,000 condominium where the child lives with his mother, Carol Jean Vogelman, said attorney Ronald Supancic, who represents Vogelman’s former husband.”
Charles grew up to be autistic and Asner motivated by his son’s condition began a campaign to sensitize the public about the medical condition. During an interview with The Tennessean in 2017, the late actor revealed that he didn’t realize Charlie had autism at first, but learning about his son inspired him to advocate. “I confess to you that I did not see the signs. I really found a high-spirited, rule-breaking youngster,” he said.
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