Ed Asner appeared on almost every type of television show during his incredible career, including police procedurals. Last year, he finally made his first appearance on CBS’ long-running series Blue Bloods, sharing scenes with another legend, Tom Selleck. Asner starred in “Vested Interests,” in which he played a friend of Selleck’s Commissioner Frank Regan. The episode, which aired on March 6, 2020, also saw Donnie Wahlberg’s Detective Danny Reagan investigating a death first thought to be a homicide.
Asner died on Sunday at 91, surrounded by his family. “We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you,” his family tweeted.
— Blue Bloods (@BlueBloods_CBS) March 5, 2020
The Blue Bloods episode earned its title from the story involving Sgt. Jamie Regan (Will Estes). He found himself under investigation after his police vest was found on a suspected criminal. Meanwhile, Frank was troubled after the home of his friend Chuck Kennedy (Asner) was invaded, and the two got into a heated debate. Danny and Detective Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) took on the case of a hotel employee whose death was thought to be a suicide but turns out to be murder. Lastly, A.D.A. Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) and Anthony Abetamarco (Steven Schirripa) were forced to make a deal with a man who claims he knows secrets about the district attorney.
Asner was a television legend, with over 400 credits to his name, stretching back to the late 1950s. To many, he is Lou Grant, the grumpy newsman he played on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and in his own series, Lou Grant. He won six Emmys for playing the character on the two shows, and also has an Emmy for his performance in Roots. Asner, who was 90 when he filmed his Blue Bloods appearance, also recently starred in the Modern Family episode “Dead on a Rival.” His other recent credits include Netflix’s Dead to Me, Grace and Frankie, Forgive Me, MacGyver, Cobra Kai, Criminal Minds and The Good Wife. Younger audiences recognize him as the voice of Carl Fredricksen in Disney and Pixar’s Up and as Santa Claus in Elf.
As for Blue Bloods, the beloved cop drama will be starting its 12th season on Friday, Oct. 1 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. Wahlberg does not see the show ending any time soon. “I just know that we’re having more fun than we’ve ever had on the show,” he told PopCulture in January 2020. “It’s still the number one show on Friday night for 10 years and it’s been a great run and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.” Asner’s episode and all other Blue Bloods episodes are available to stream on Paramount+.