Ed Asner disses Cloris Leachman, Betty White
January 7th, 2011
03:04 PM ET

Ed Asner disses Cloris Leachman, Betty White

Maybe love wasn't all around on the set of the "Mary Tyler Moore" show. During a recent appearance at the Television Critics Association event, Ed Asner took a few swings at former co-stars Cloris Leachman and Betty White.

TV Guide reports that the actor, who played gruff WJM newsroom boss Lou Grant on the hit '70s sitcom, dissed Leachman during a discussion about the success of older actors.

"Cloris Leachman has eight Emmys? Is that true? Bitch," he said of the 84-year-old star, who played snobby Phyllis Lindstrom. "Well, if you wanna act nuts like she does..."

Eighty-one-year-old Asner — who has seven Emmys to his credit — added that he earned his awards "from straight developmental acting... Nothing off the charts. That's Cloris."

When asked the secret to his own enduring career, Asner took a swipe at 88-year-old White, who played happy homemaker Sue Ann Nivens on "Mary Tyler Moore."

"I think talent has something to do with it. I'd like to lay claim to that," said Asner, who stars in the upcoming CMT comedy "Working Class." "I figure I'm in that middle stage of aging. I'm in that middle stage prior to becoming Mickey Rooney. Or Betty White."

Though the TCA audience laughed at Asner's comments, TV Guide reports that he didn't seem to be joking.

What do you think of Asner's remarks? Let us know in a comment below.

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Kailiz Rakeq

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    July 9, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. teddy

    Cloris Leachman is nothing but an old, senile, perverted old woamn who does nothing but make a fool out of herself lately. Her family needs to put her in a nursing home before she further embarrasses herself.

    Betty White? Whatever, too.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cuatemoc

    i heard asner caught a beatdown. turned out the source was mistaking him for rooney who recently complained of ageism.

    March 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael Whitlow

    I'm sure he was joking. Wonder what he'd think of the Go Daddy parody she's doing for the Super Bowl called Go Granny. Even tweets with hashtag #gogranny...very "now" for an 80+ lady.

    February 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nick Delborn

    Ed Asner has to have been joking. It is inconceivable to assume otherwise. He has always been a gentleman. He can also be a funny man who delivers lines with a dead pan expression. He, like Leachman and White is a bit of a national treasure and like White was a fairly serious political animal. All three are extremely talented and their talent has not diminished with age.

    January 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. George Penny

    He was having fun and being funny he is an old pro like them.

    January 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kathy

    It was a joke but the media wants to stir up some crap.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cindy

    Are you kidding me...of course he was joking, anyone who would think otherwise doesn't have a clue to his acting style and he DOES have style. Maw Maw is the best and with him actually talking about her puts her out there, she is great and really what would you like Cloris to be doing? playing the queen or ??? ya gotta love Raising Hope – it would be nice for him to guest star as her crazy love interest...hhmmm-sounds good to me

    January 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cindy

    OMG – Jan Michael Vincent actually reads this stuff?? I thot you were busy on broadway...still love ya – haven't forgotten ya...and I don't know how to reach you except this forum. Glad you're still around, would like to see you on t.v.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lin danek

    Oh Ed, Get over yourself. You're jealous and a cran ky old man. You've been "nuts" at times, too, including your comments and that's no act. Give it up!

    January 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gina

    he was JOKING – they were all interviewed together about 3 years ago and they were so mean to each other it was awesome!!

    January 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Abe Vigoda

    I'm sure Ed Asner is dead. This is a hoax.

    January 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Third Eye

    Wow, to think that reputable actors have to stoop to Heidi and hubby level of insults to get SOME PUBLICITY. However, if you and you and you don't realize that it is all joking, you are reading too much of this website. Get a grip on life, and start watching older comedies. You'll see exactly this type of humor.

    January 9, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dana

    He was joking, his timing is a little off now that he is getting older. He just can't tell a joke as well as he used to.

    January 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Judy Stein

    He's jealous! I recently saw Asner in a one-man show, portraing FDR. He was terrible in it. I've also heard he's out of money.

    January 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. old geezer

    Betty White may be older than him but looks much better than him and has much more class! He's an old has-been and except for his appearance in "Up", most of his stuff was fit for the commode.

    January 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  17. whocares

    Gary...its just Ed Asner delivering lines in his dry style and both Cloris and Betty giggled, I'm sure. In truth, they're all old pros, tighter than thieves and have a lot of love for eachother. At some point you'll see them all doing bit parts on eachothers shows.

    January 8, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  18. A Real Housewife

    He needs the press to promote his new project! Of course he was joking.

    January 8, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  19. Gary Albert

    Both of those women received their Emmys for being funny, though Cloris Leachman received an Oscar for Last Picture Show, in which she gave a wonderfully touching performance. Seems to me that Ed Asner should know to keep his mouth shut about other actors and their "processes" because a performance is a performance no matter how it is arrived at. He's old and showed poor judgement because he's definitely not known for his wit!

    January 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Loren


    January 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Loren

    He had to have been serious, everything an actor says is the truth from his heart. I can't imagine how the poor man managed to work so long with such women, he must be a saint.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jeff

    It was a joke. He probably didn't play up the jokes and made them natural parts of the conversation – that's how it read to me.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  23. ER

    Isnt it obvious he was joking!!
    CNN you take entertainment stuff too seriously...
    Stick to what you think you know... HARD NEWS.

    You know nothing about entertainment.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Be Quiet

    Come on, he had to have been joking. Cloris has 8 Emmys and he has 7 – hence calling her a "b!tch". People probably couldn't tell he was joking because the man is a brilliant actor!

    January 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |

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