One could say that Ed Asner’s first marriage was reasonably successful. It lasted nearly 29 years, after all, and produced three children. Still he and Nancy Sykes divorced in 1988.
By that time Ed could hardly be called a ladies’ man anymore. His best days had been given to his wife and children and, of course, to his successful career on TV. The man won multiple Emmys and is still active to this day, though not as much as he used to be, now that he is 86.
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The reason for his first divorce seems quite apparent. He fathered a fourth child in 1987 with Carol Jean Vogelman. Ed and Carol were both married when the affair happened that produced his youngest son. He eventually admitted to being the father and paid up in child-support.
Carol’s marriage ended before the affair became public knowledge, whilst Ed’s marriage ended afterwards. Cheating on his wife after such a long time together would’ve been quite hurtful.
Ed took his time to move on after his divorce. He eventually started dating Cindy Gilmore, but it wasn’t until 1998 that the two were married. Obviously they did not have children together, because Cindy was beyond child-bearing age at the time and Ed already had four children anyway.
In November 2007 the news made the rounds that Cindy had filed for legal separation from Ed. She cited the perfunctory ‘irreconcilable differences’ in her request and asked for spousal support and that Ed should cover her legal fees.
After that we didn’t hear much about the estranged couple at all, but later reports indicate the things had become somewhat contentious. It took nearly two years for the two to arrive at a settlement. In August 2009 it was reported that Cindy was to receive $6,000 in spousal support until either of them dies, and that she was to receive 30% of his gross earnings of about $300k a year, but no more than $500k per year.
Ed was not exactly happy with the agreement and apparently complained at some point that Cindy had not made sufficient moves towards sustaining herself. That, however, seemed a bit of a strange complaint, because Cindy was 71 at the time and unlikely to return to work again. Perhaps Ed could have tried to have the spousal support reduced to a more manageable sum, but it doesn’t look as if that ever happened.
It also seems quite curious that the settlement concerned their separation, but that the two didn’t actually get a divorce. It’s unclear why they did not get a divorce at the time. The outcome would hardly have been different.
Consequently it came as a surprise when Ed filed officially for divorce in May 2015.
Everybody was questioning the reason behind the unexpected filing. Few people even remembered that he hadn’t actually divorced back in 2009. Social Media didn’t exactly break out in a frenzy over the news, but some rather sarcastic remarks emerged on Twitter, questioning Ed’s motives and the long time it had taken him to officially file for divorce. He was 85 at the time and not getting any younger.
Oddly enough, whilst everybody heard about him filing divorce, nobody knows what happened since. Presumably the divorce was a mere formality, however. The separation had long been settled and there were no news that the terms should be renegotiated.
Quite a few people were inclined to make fun of the whole situation, especially considering Ed’s advanced age. Whilst no further news about the divorce have made the rounds, a year and a half later we can certainly assume that it has been finalized.
It doesn’t appear as if Ed wanted to be free to get married again, so that at least doesn’t seem to be the reason behind the belated divorce filing. Soon to be 87, Ed is still alive and kicking, however, and he may still surprise us one of these days.