Ed Asner

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Mary's politically incorrect boss, Lou Grant, was always making her cry on the show. Seven-time Emmy winner Ed Asner brought the cantankerous character to life.

Ed says he had performed comedy on stage but never on film or television before The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Although he eventually made viewers laugh out loud, he didn't get many chuckles during his original audition for the show. "It stunk," he says. "Years later, I found out that after I left the room, [Mary] turned to the two producers and said, 'Are you sure?'"

After that audition, Ed asked for another one. "So I tried it. I read it as crazily as I could," he says. "And they said [yes]."

Mary compared making the show to Camelot, but Ed says he had his own name for it. "I call it 'The Seven Years of the Yellow Brick Road,'" he says. "I was the cowardly lion, and Gavin needed the oil. And Ted was the brainless one."