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Actor Ed Asner taken by ambulance from ‘FDR’ one-man show at Gary theater

Actor Ed Asner leads master class with local theater students instructors West Side Theatre Guild Gary Ind. Tuesday March 12

Actor Ed Asner leads a master class with local theater students and instructors at the West Side Theatre Guild in Gary, Ind., Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Asner, whose film career has spanned more than five decades, gave the master class prior to his acting engagement as Franklin D. Roosevelt at Marquette Park Pavilion. | Guy Rhodes~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 13, 2013 12:13PM



Award-winning actor and activist Ed Asner cut short his performance Tuesday at Marquette Pavilion in Gary after having difficulty speaking, according to people who attended the sold-out show.

Asner was taken by ambulance from the pavilion. A report on his condition was not immediately available.

The one-man show “FDR,” in which Asner portrays Franklin Delano Roosevelt, started about 45 minutes late, and Asner struggled with his lines as soon as the performance began. Backstage crew members intervened, and Asner spoke briefly, before emergency medical personnel arrived and walked Asner off the stage about 15 minutes after the show began.

Asner, 83, had conducted a spirited acting class at West Side Leadership Academy in Gary a few hours earlier during an event hosted by MAS Media 7 and West Side Theatre Guild artistic director Mark Spencer.

Lake County Surveyor George Van Til, one of those who attended the Marquette Pavilion performance, said Asner seemed confused and frustrated from the beginning. He said Asner was conscious as he left the stage but was not speaking clearly — although Van Til said Asner apologized to the audience and promised to return when he could.



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