5. Ed Asner
Born Eddie Asner on November 15, 1929, in Kansas City, Missouri, he grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, before heading to Chicago to study journalism. After a professor admitted there was little money in his chosen profession, he switched his focus to drama instead. Asner served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1951 to 1953 and appeared in plays that toured Army bases in Europe. After his military service, he helped found the Playwrights Theater Company in Chicago but left for New York City soon after.
In New York City, he would star in several on and Off-Broadway productions before landing the role that would make him a star, the fictional TV newsman Lou Grant in the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970. The part would garner him seven Emmy awards across his career, a record for a male performer. Even until his passing on August 29, 2021, at the ripe old age of 91, Asner was still in high demand as there are still five projects to be posthumously released.