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January 11, 1989|ALEENE MacMINN | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Despite actor Ed Asner's long list of film and television credits, it was not until his own TV series ("Lou Grant") that he thought his career was on solid ground. "At that point I couldn't conjure up a little saving gimmick I always gave myself to keep me in check," he says. "I used to be able to say to myself, 'Wake up, now. You might be pumping gas tomorrow.' I used to be able to bring that image up in a moment's notice. It was healthy for me." Asner is starring with Madeline Kahn in a Broadway-bound production of "Born Yesterday."

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