It’s true!!! Ed Asner was voted Sexiest Actor Alive by Mediamass this past June. I don’t know who the people of Mediamass polled (I’m not even sure what Mediamass is) but they would have had my vote if they had asked me. I have always been in love with Ed Asner. Well, not always. For a while, when I was around five, I nursed a serious crush on Tim Conway but ever since the 1970s Mr. Asner has been my Main Man.
Of course, I was never masochistic enough to declare my love out loud. When Ed starred in the classic miniseries, “Rich Man, Poor Man” and all of my adolescent pals were going nuts over Nick Nolte, I, too, pretended that I thought Nick was hot but my heart belonged to Ed and I secretly swooned over his portrayal of stone-hearted Axel Jordache. I loved the way his bald head gleamed in the sunshine while he verbally sparred with onscreen son Peter Strauss. I adored his German accent, his all too realistic limp (in addition to be sexy, the man can act!), the malevolent glare in his beady eyes. But as I said, I never shared these views with any of my friends. A teenager in love with Ed Asner might strike some people as strange and I was smart enough (albeit barely) to know that it was far wiser to keep my opinions and my crush to myself.
As any REAL Ed Asner fan knows, Ed was in just about everything on television throughout the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and even now. Ed perfected the “gruff but lovable” persona and could definitely have given Paul Newman or Robert Redford a run for their money if any producer had been smart enough or brave enough to cast him in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Ed played a big part in my career plans too. It was because of the television show “Lou Grant” that I decided to become a journalist and attended the University of Missouri for a brief while, my eye trained on their J school. Unfortunately, this plan wasn’t too well thought out (I suspect that most plans based on television shows probably share that problem). Journalists are supposed to be fearless and able to talk to anyone. People who dread asking strangers questions beyond, “Can you tell me where the ladies’ room is?” and then only under the most dire or circumstances shouldn’t venture into journalism but should stick with behind the scenes jobs such as nighttime stockers or dog walkers for rich people. There was also the problem of that pesky GPA and the J school demanding one and my not complying. But in the back of my mind I have always nurtured the fond daydream of working in a newsroom under the strong, manly wing of my editor, who would naturally be a dead ringer for Lou Grant.
I actually got to see my dreamboat a few years ago when he appeared on stage as FDR. I don’t think it’s necessary to say that in spite of his now advanced years he was brilliant. Adding to the excitement of the evening was the moment I spotted Linda Kelsey coming out of the stall next to mine in the ladies’ room. Yes, I peed next to Billie Newman! I think it speaks volumes about Ed’s warmth and personality that his former co-star from “Lou Grant” would come to see him on stage thirty years after their show was so unceremoniously cancelled. So he’s obviously not only sexy but also charming. I’m not surprised in the least.
What I am surprised about is something I learned about 30 seconds ago. Apparently the whole Mediamass thing was a joke and some yahoos were apparently poking fun at My Man with the whole Sexiest Actor Alive thing. How could anyone think that’s a joke? Who do they think can beat him–Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum or some other baby faced creep with flat abs and zero personality?
My heart is semi-broken with this newsflash but at the same time a touch relieved. I don’t need any competition for Mr. Asner and if I’m the only one who thinks he’s the sexiest actor alive, I am just fine with that. Perhaps a touch demented and obviously highly delusional but just fine.