In the first part of his four-hour Archive interview, Ed Asner (1929-2021) describes his start as an actor in theater and in live television. He talks about his appearances in '60s television series Naked City, Route 66, and The Defenders, his appearance as a regular on the political drama Slattery's People, and his roles in television movies. He discusses the portrayal of his most memorable role, that of "Lou Grant," on the sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its dramatic spin-off, Lou Grant. He speaks of other notable television appearances in the miniseries Roots and Rich Man, Poor Man; the telefilms The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish and The Gathering; and the series The Trials of Rosie O'Neill. He also talks of his political activism in the 1980s and his role as Screen Actors Guild President from 1981-85.
In a separate 90 minute follow-up Archive interview 11 years later, Asner discusses his roles in The Outer Limits and The Defenders. He elaborates on his time as "Lou Grant" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, discussing specific episodes in depth. He speaks of guest shots on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and CSI: New York, and his late career revival brought about by the feature films "Elf" and "Up". Morrie Gelman conducted the first part of the interview on April 7, 1999 in North Hollywood, CA, and Karen Herman conducted the second on June 2, 2010 at Asner's home in Valley Village, CA.