Skip to main content

Cobra Kai's Stars And Creators Share Heartfelt Responses After Ed Asner's Death

cobra kai screenshot

Ed Asner was an iconic figure in Hollywood. The celebrated actor, who originally rose to prominence as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, sadly passed away on August 29, 2021. Many actors who worked with Ed Asner over his long and legendary career immediately took to social media to share their condolences with his family, along with fond memories of the iconic actor. That definitely includes the cast and crew of Netflix’s Karate Kid spin-off series Cobra Kai, on which the actor delivered one of his most visible final roles.

The recipient of seven Emmy Awards outside of his Cobra Kai involvement, Ed Asner guest-starred in Seasons 1 and 3 of the martial arts dramedy as Johnny Lawrence’s stepfather Sid Weinberg. Asner’s onscreen stepson William Zabka, who also played Johnny Lawrence in the original Karate Kid films, shared a heartfelt message on Twitter in honor of Ed Asner:

Devastated to hear this news. What a legend. What a beautiful human and special friend. I learned so much from him. My love and deepest condolences to the Asner family #RIP Dear Ed

William Zabka certainly wasn’t the only member of the Cobra Kai family to mourn Ed Asner’s passing. In a statement given to Deadline, series creators Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald, and Jon Hurwitz shared some fond memories of the departed star:

Whenever he was on set, it was a nonstop parade of belly laughs as we all sat at the feet of a giant. Getting to briefly play in his orbit while he made our karate universe ever brighter and funnier was a great honor of our careers. We will miss him dearly and we send all our love to his family.

The Cobra Kai creators also revealed their initial determination to cast Ed Asner in the role of Sid Weinberg. They claimed that the Lou Grant actor was the only choice for the part, even from the very beginning, saying:

What performer could more perfectly embody the love/hate nature of playing Johnny Lawrence’s father than Ed Asner? When we dreamed up the character, there was no discussion – it was only Ed.

In addition to William Zabka and the creators of Cobra Kai, the original Karate Kid himself Ralph Macchio also paid homage to Ed Asner, citing his admiration for the seasoned actor on Twitter:

So saddened by this news. A legend and icon in the acting world. Endless respect for his body of work on so many levels. Ed had graced the Cobra Kai series and am grateful to have had a moment or two to meet and connect with him. An absolute privilege. #RIPEdAsner

It was also revealed that the upcoming fourth season of Cobra Kai will most likely include some sort of tribute to Ed Asner, though it's not clear how that will play out. Season 4 already wrapped filming, and while it’s possible a new scene or two could be added to explain the absence of Sid Weinberg, it's more likely that it'll be an R.I.P. placard before or after an episode. With the outpouring of love from the Cobra Kai team, there’s no doubt that Ed Asner was well-loved and immensely respected, and fans no doubt feel the loss just as hard.

From everyone here at CinemaBlend, our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ed Asner.

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.