Television star Ed Asner is scheduled to join the mature gay men’s group, Celebration of Friends, for a weekend event in July in Orlando.

Asner, 85, is an accomplished actor and activist. He was a two-term past president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), a labor union now known as SAG-AFTRA. On television, Asner is perhaps best known for his role as news station manager Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

“Mr. Asner is joining us for this event,” confirmed Celebration of Friends spokesman Tom Pence.

Pence spoke to a crowd of about 40 men during a “working man’s classic coffee klatch” Saturday morning at the Herb Skolnick Center in Pompano Beach. Celebration of Friends, Pence said, is an incorporated mission to provide warm, comfortable, safe and engaging gatherings recognizing and promoting self-worth, dignity, kindness and friendships of and within our senior population.

Asner joins the group July 16-20 at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. Those who register before June 1 will be placed into a drawing to win a private dinner invitation from Asner.

Asner won an Emmy for his work on the Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-77), which led to a spin-off series based and titled on his character, Lou Grant. His performance on the Mary Tyler Moore Show was described by critics as “gruff and gold hearted.”

Recalled Celebration of Friends member Jeff Delray, “He (Grant) told Mary: ‘You’ve got spunk and I hate spunk.’”

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