Inside Ed Asner’s Family: Meet His Wife and 4 Children

Ed Asner married twice during his lifetime. His first marriage to Nancy Lou Sykes lasted for almost 30 years from 1959 to 1988. The union produced three children; twins Matthew and Liza Asner, and the youngest, Kate Asner. His second marriage to producer Cindy Gilmore lasted for about 17 years from 1998 to 2015 but they had no children together.

However, several sources have confirmed that the late actor had four children indicating that the three kids he had with his first wife are not the only children he has. Further unveiling of the matter confirms that he had a son named Charles Jean Vogelman with a mistress named Carol Jean Vogelman. Without further ado, it’s time to meet Ed Asner’s wives and his four children.

Ed Asner’s Birth Family Members Are All Deceased

On August 29, 2021, fans of the actor awoke to the news that he had passed on. An autopsy showed that he had died of natural causes in his home in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. He was 91 at the time of his death and was buried at Sheffield Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Born Eddie Asner in Kansas City, Missouri on November 15, 1929, Ed was the youngest of five children born to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrant parents Lizzie Asner nee Seliger (1885-1967) and Moris David Asner (1877-1957). His father ran a second-hand shop and junkyard while his mother was a housewife.


Both his parents have long since passed on as well as his four older siblings, Ben J. Asner (1915-1986), Eve Asner (1916-2014), Esther Edelman (1919-2014), and Labe Asner (1923-2014) whom he grew up with. Ed obtained a high school diploma from Wyandotte High School, in Kansas City, Kansas, before bagging a journalism degree at the University of Chicago.

Asner later served in the US Army Signal Corps from 1951 to 1953 before launching a full career in acting. The actor was getting his feet wet in the theatre and movie industry when he met and fell in love with Nancy Lou Sykes, the woman who would later become the mother of three of his four children.

Ed Asner Was Married To His First Wife For 29 Years

Not much is known about the early days of Ed’s relationship with Nancy Lou Sykes, including how, when, or where they met. We also have no way of determining how long they dated before deciding to get married. However, the late actor tied the knot with his first wife on March 23, 1959.

The marriage between Ed and Nancy began on a very good note and appeared destined to last forever. However, as the fame of the late two-time president of the Screen Actors Guild grew, so did his vices. Somewhere along the line, he began to step out on his wife. That misdemeanor ultimately put an end to their almost 3-decade-long marriage.

The reason for their divorce, which happened in 1988, was never specified. However, it has become invariably clear that the once-happy couple decided to go their separate ways after Sykes found out that the actor was cheating on her with another woman two years before their divorce was finalized.

Ed Asner’s Second Marriage Technically Lasted For 15 Years

As previously mentioned, Ed started having an affair with a woman named Carol Jean Vogelman in 1986, two years before his marriage to Nancy Sykes was officially declared over. The relationship reportedly continued for another couple of years after the divorce.

Their affair ended when he met and fell in love with film producer Cindy Gilmore. They became engaged in 1991, and the engagement lasted for about seven years before they eventually exchanged marital vows on August 2, 1998. Almost a decade later, on November 7, 2007, Gilmore filed for legal separation citing irreconcilable differences.

In 2008, the late actor threatened to stop paying Cindy alimony. His threat was based on the fact that she was not doing enough to support herself financially. Nonetheless, they came to some financial settlement in 2009.

In 2015, almost eight years after their legal separation came into effect, Asner filed for divorce and his petition was granted. Their marriage had technically lasted for a decade and a half.

Ed Asner Fathered A Child Outside Marriage

Ed Asner’s family history will forever reflect the fact that he had four children before his death in 2021. Nevertheless, it is crucial to confirm that only three of those four children were conceived and born during his marriage to his first wife, Nancy Lou Sykes.

The children in question, twins Matthew and Liza, and Kate, were all born before 1970 and were all adults when the former couple went their separate ways. Ed’s extra-marital affair with Carol Jean Vogelman led to the birth of a love child named Charles Jean Vogelman. Charles was born a year before Ed’s divorce from Sykes was finalized.

On a more minor note, he is the late actor’s only child with his mistress Carol, but his fourth and youngest child. Ed’s death in 2021 led several media outlets to explore his life and the legacy he left behind. His career in the film industry was enviable as he ended up serving as a two-time president of the Screen Actors Guild. He also served his country in the United States Army.

However, several people would consider the possibility that the actor left the most significant legacy are his four children. Here is all you need to know about Ed Asner’s children, Matthew Asner, Liza Asner, Kathryn “Kate” Asner, and Charles Jean Vogelman.

Matthew Asner Is One Of Ed Asner’s Twin Sons

  • Date of Birth: September 9, 1963
  • Age: 60 Years Old
  • Mother: Nancy Lou Sykes
  • Occupation: Foundation Executive, Film Director

Matthew Asner was born on September 9, 1963. He is 60 years old and was born in Los Angeles, California. He is Ed Asner’s first and only son whom he had with his ex-wife, Nancy Lou Sykes.

Ed Asner's Family

Additionally, Matt Asner is one-half of the twin babies the actor had four years after his marriage to their mother in 1959. After having him and his twin sister, Liza, Matt’s parents rolled the baby dice again, and out popped another girl child who his parents named Kathryn, a further indication that he spent the majority of his formative years alongside 2 sisters.

Matt Asner’s Mother Was Actively Involved In His Life

For the first quarter of a century of Matt Asner’s existence, he was fortunate to have his parents together as a married couple. It ensured that he had a very close relationship with both his parents, and even after that divorce, his relationship with either of them was not affected.

Born Nancy Lou Sykes on January 26, 1930, Matt’s mother was just less than a year younger than the father of her children. Not much information Is available about her birth family members, including her parents and siblings.

Several sources indicate that she had a proper formal education that includes a college degree but we have yet to confirm the finer details of her academics.

For the large part of her marriage to her late ex-husband Ed Asner, Nancy Lou was a celebrity wife whose career identity was predominantly linked to that of the man she married. However, in 1993, a few years after their divorce was confirmed, it emerged that she was doing some work behind the scenes in Hollywood.

She primarily offered craft services to the industry from the early 1990s to the early 2010s. She also has credits as a stand-in on projects such as Shadowhunter (1993) and Fast Getaway II (1994). Her last work as an actress is said to have come in the 2012 Disney series, Kickin’ It.

Her responsibilities in the industry did not detract from her duties as a mother, even though she did not have to be hands-on with their care because they were already adults when she parted ways with their father. She still found the time to stay in touch with them and thus maintained the relationship she built before her divorce from their now-deceased father.

Matt Asner was left heartbroken on April 19, 2019, a date that will forever resonate with him as the day he lost his mother. The foundation executive took to his Instagram a week after the incident to lament her loss. On April 19, 2020, exactly a year after her death, he was back on the platform to post a memorial in her honor.

Matt Asner Also Had A Good Relationship With His Father

As previously mentioned, having his parents apart from each other did not make any dent in Matt’s relationship with either of them. Matt’s father, Ed was a huge influence in his life and career and played a significant part in his career development.

While the actor does not have as much influence in the American movie industry as his father did, he remains eternally grateful for the immeasurable experience he was able to glean from the veteran filmmaker and actor.

Aside from the career influence, father and son also worked on some non-movie projects together including some on the Ed Asner Family Center. It is a foundation set up by the late actor. Matt serves as President and CEO of the center. Their major duty is to support people on the autism spectrum seeing that one of Matt’s children and his half brother is living with the condition.

Matt Asner Is Also Active In Hollywood

The phrase, like father like son, partially describes the similarities between the careers of Matt Asner and his late father Ed Asner. Like the late El Dorado star, his first son is also active in Hollywood as a film producer, director, and actor.

Though he may not have had as much screen time as the late actor, Matt is doing his best to live up to the legacy of the Asner name in Hollywood. He is recognized for his spellbinding contribution as the executive producer of Light Up The Blues.

Beyond that, he also has some acting credits in movies such as Femme Fatale, Sideways, Night Life, and a handful of others.

Matthew Asner Has Been Married Times

It would appear that the actor plans to replicate his father’s exploits while he was alive. In terms of marriage though, it does seem that he has gone one marriage further than his father who was married only twice.

On the other hand, Matt is on his third marriage to his long-time girlfriend, Navah Paskowitz-Asner. The couple has been married for over eight years now after reportedly tying the knot in November 2014.

Before Navah, Matt was married to Joyce Baptiste. They got married on December 31, 1998, but their marriage did not last long. A couple of years before Matt’s marriage to Baptiste began, he had ended a four-year marriage to Jules Asner. The former couple was married from 1992 to 1996.

Matthew Asner Has 6 Children

Technically, the Goodwill actor has two children, both with his ex-wife Joyce Baptiste. However, when he met his current wife, she was also a divorced parent with four children from her previous relationship.

They do not have any children together. Matt and his wife are strong activists for Autism, owing to their first-hand experience with the issue. Matt’s second son Will is on the spectrum and two of Navah’s four children.

Their shared understanding of the condition was responsible for bringing them together, and they continue to navigate the challenges of having children on the Autism spectrum together as a family.

Liza Asner Is Matt Asner’s Twin Sister

  • Date of Birth: September 9, 1963
  • Age: 60 years old
  • Mother: Nancy Lou Sykes
  • Occupation: Film Producer

Liza Asner was born on September 9, 1963, in Los Angeles, California, United States. She is Matt Asner’s twin sister and is also currently 60 years old. Whether she is the older of the twins is a dilemma we have yet to figure out.

Ed Asner's Family

Like her brother, Liza is an American citizen with solid roots in the Eastern European countries of Ukraine and Lithuania from her paternal grandmother and grandfather, respectively.

Liza Asner grew up in Los Angeles, California, alongside twin brother Matt and younger sister Kate. She was already a 25-year-old woman when her parents Ed Asner and Nancy Lou Sykes decided to end their 29-year-long marriage.

Liza Asner Was A Very Big Part Of Her Mother’s Life

Nancy Sykes was a devoted mother to her children, including her eldest daughter Liza. The now-deceased Sykes was a valuable part of Liza’s life while she was growing up and provided the stability that she indeed required in her childhood given that Ed was mainly away on movie projects.

Despite his challenging schedule and subsequent divorce from her mother, Liza’s father also played his part in making sure she turned into the self-assured, confident, and relatively Successful woman the world has come to know today.

Liza Asner Is A Film Producer And A Director

Not much is known about Liza Asner’s formal education background including where she went to high school and college. Based on her affluent family background, our best guess is that she would have attended the best schools money can afford.

Having established that fact, it is essential to reveal that the celebrity daughter essentially followed in the footsteps of her father and twin brother in the entertainment industry. To a considerable extent though, she and her twin are on the same page in the sense that they both primarily operate behind the scenes.

Liza Asner is a film producer and director quite recognized for her valuable contributions to movie projects such as Back of Book, My Friend Is Ed, Be Careful What You Wish For, and more. Whether she reaches the same heights as her illustrious late father remains to be seen but she appears to be doing quite well in her chosen profession.

Matt Asner’s Twin Sister Is Not Married

Liza Asner has relatively kept details of her personal life to herself. From the very few things we know of the Back of Book producer, she does not appear to be married as of the time of writing. She also does not appear to be romantically involved with anyone too.

Nothing from her social media profiles also gives any indication of what her relationship history is like. She does not have any children we know of. It seems as though she is completely focused on her career at the moment.

Kate Asner Is Ed Asner’s Youngest Child With His First Wife

  • Date of Birth: September 17, 1966
  • Age: 57 years old
  • Mother: Nancy Lou Sykes
  • Occupation: Actress

Born Kathryn Asner on September 17, 1966, in Los Angeles, California, Kate Asner is the late Ed Asner’s second daughter and youngest child with equally late ex-wife Nancy Lou Sykes.

Ed Asner's Family

She grew up with twin older siblings Matt and Liza, and like them, she was also relatively an adult, 22 years old at the time, when her parents divorced. One could argue for the possibility that the divorce did not affect her negatively but we have no way of knowing the state of her mind when the divorce happened.

Not much is known about Kate’s formal educational background including where she went to school and the qualifications she came out with.

We can confirm though, that Kate Asner’s relationship with her parents did not falter on account of the divorce. She was still mommy and daddy’s little girl on account of being her parents’ youngest together, and she milked the attention whenever she could.

Kate Asner Is An Actress

In a similar vein to her older siblings, Kate Asner followed in the footsteps of her father and went into the movie-making business. She is however closer to her father in that regard than she is to her siblings, in the sense that her career is more visible when compared to hers.

Kate is an actress who made her acting debut as Female Aide in the 1992 TV series Hearts Afire. Three years later, she made her film debut in 1995 when she appeared as Susan in the film Open Season. The next year she played the role of Alice in the 1996 movie Wedding Bell Blues.

To date, she has over a dozen movies and TV series credits to her name including What Women Want (2000), What’s Up Scarlet (2005), Fired Up (1997), Jesse (1999), Judging Amy (2000), Malcolm In The Middle (2000-2006), First Monday (2022), and several others.

She appears to have done well for herself, and anyone who has seen her movies will confirm that she shares her late father’s passion for the movie industry and is doing her best to uphold the Asner legacy in that industry.

She Is Not Married

Like her older sister, Kate Asner has yet to settle down to a life of marriage. Also not much is known about her relationship history and she does not have any children of her own at the moment.

Charles Edward Vogelman Is Ed Asner’s Love Child

  • Date of Birth: 1987
  • Age: 37 years old
  • Mother: Carol Jean Vogelman
  • Occupation: Celebrity Child

Charles Edward Vogelman is Ed Asner’s love child with his mistress, Carol Jean Vogelman. He was born in 1987, although the finer details of his birth, such as the date and month of his birth have yet to be revealed to the public.

Nevertheless, we know that his father was still married to his first wife, Nancy Lou Sykes when he and his mother began dating in 1986. She found out later that she was pregnant and Charles is the fruit of that pregnancy.

37-year-old Charles has three older step-siblings from his father’s first marriage, although we have yet to ascertain the kind of relationship he has with them at the moment.

Charles’ Mother Was Actively Involved In His Upbringing

Given that his parents never married and that the fragile affair they had did not last longer than a few years before and after the birth of the celebrity child, Charles depended on his mother for the majority of his formative years, and the relationship that was fostered in that period remains to date.

Not much is known about Carol Jean Vogelman, Charles’ mother including where she is at the moment. Still, we can confirm that she played a vital role in the nurturing of Charles as a baby, and given his Autistic condition, she is to be commended for the impressive way she went about the entire thing.

When Ed eventually got wind of the fact that he had fathered an illegitimate child with his mistress, he did the right thing and assumed responsibility for his and his mother’s well-being. He began by providing a monthly care package of a reported $2,100 and paying the $30k required to provide better living arrangements for Charles and his mother.

The celebrity child’s Autism prompted his father to learn more about the condition and establish the Ed Asner Family Center to take care of his son’s needs and others like him.

Hugo Wright
Hugo Wright
Hugo has extensive professional writing experience and has been writing and editing articles on multiple platforms for several years now. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favourite pastimes.


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