Yes, I know the writers created the Lou Grant character, but Ed Asner brought it to life. He was the guy you always wanted to work for. Serious, gruff, you knew where you stood, and he kept a bottle in his bottom desk drawer.
Asner showed his range when he took the same character and modified it for the hour long drama known as "Lou Grant." In fact, Asner became the first actor to win Emmys for playing the same character in a comedy and a drama.
The Washington Post got it right when it said Asner had the role of a lifetime-- twice.
Asner showed a great deal of class when Mary Tyler Moore died, talking about how she advanced the secondary characters on the show. Moore had it figured out. Her sitcom worked because she was the island of semi sanity, surrounded by the seriously funny people around her.
One of the things that impressed me is how Ed Asner wasn't afraid to play unpopular characters. Case in point, the slave ship captain on "Roots."
Looking at imdb.com, it's a tremendous body of work, from villains to Santa Claus.
Ed Asner was 91.