First ,Valerie "Rhoda Morgenstern" Harper, now Ed "Lou Grant" Asner. What is striking down the stars of The Mary Tyler Moore Show?
Oh right, old age:
The Emmy-winning actor was hospitalized Tuesday night in Gary, Ind., after having trouble speaking during his one-man show, FDR.
A rep for Asner was unavailable for comment, but was quoted in another report as saying the thesp had been suffering from exhaustion and is now "resting comfortably" and should get out of the hospital later today.
"Thesp?" Does E! pay their online writers by the character?
Seriously, I wish Big Ed the best. Especially since his may be the first case of celebrity "exhaustion" I've heard of that didn't make me roll my eyes like the First Lady sitting next to John Boehner.
It isn't like celebrities don't get exhausted that often. They totally do. Wait, sorry, I forgot the quotes around "exhausted." What's so curious about these frequent diagnoses is the relative youth of those involved. Mariah Carey was 31 when she was hospitalized for "extreme exhaustion" in 2001. More recently, Rihanna was 24 when she was rushed to a hospital for "exhaustion and dehydration" following a night of partying. Lindsay Lohan? 26 (that time). Lady Gaga? 24. And the list goes on: Colin Farrell, Ashlee Simpson, Dave Chappelle, Richie Sambora, Amy Winehouse (how could they tell?).
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Could these folks really have just been really, really tired? Sure. There's also a possibility that wasn't my ex-girlfriend who called and left threatening messages on my answering machine in 1992, but we're looking at patterns of behavior here, and (nonstop partying + cocaine) /poor diet X more cocaine often leads to an inability to fulfill obligations like concert appearances or talk show guest spots or driving a car in a straight line. Any of us would call this a "bender" resulting in a "godawful hangover" resulting in having to take "sick days" from work, usually phoned in while trying to project false fever telepathy to our boss over the phone. For famous people, it's exhaustion.
Which is perfectly valid, really. Staying up for five days straight subsisting on nothing by Cristal, cocktail shrimp, and blow snorted off the breasts of "Jade" in the Viper Room bathroom would exhaust anyone (I welcome the chance to prove this). Technically, some PR flack explaining Lohan was carted by paramedics out of her hotel room because she was more bushed than usual is pretty true. They're just leaving out salient portions of the narrative. Like if The Godfather cut straight to Woltz waking up with Khartoum's head in his bed without the whole Johnny Fontaine back story.
Ed Asner is 83 years old. He's worked steadily over the last two decades, appearing in numerous TV series (The X-Files and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, among many others) and a few films of note (Elf, Up). As I mentioned in my review of last Sunday's Willie Nelson show, it's pretty formidable that a guy that age is still working when most of us would be only too happy to become one with our sofas while occasionally yelling at clouds. I have a lot of respect for the guy (well, maybe not his 9-11 views), and if anybody deserves the benefit of the "exhaustion" doubt, it's Ed.