Matthew Asner grew up on TV sets and in the wings of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” watching his father, Ed Asner, and the talented legendary cast in action.
His love of the arts and music evolved into a career as an entertainer. At the age of 15, he was performing music traveling up and down the west coast and in clubs around Los Angeles and later explored the world of acting. A natural leader, Matthew became a producer and took his place on the other side of the camera. He has produced and directed award winning documentaries and television shows for over 25 years including 100 Voices: A Journey Home (2011), In Search of Peace (1998), Season Of The Samurai (2009), Live from Jerusalem: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Live with Zubin Mehta Featuring Renée Fleming and Joseph Calleja (2011), Hiroshima (1995) among many others.
Asner’s interest in documentaries has brought him to all corners of the globe where he has met with world leaders, celebrities, artists and veterans. Interviewees include President Bill Clinton; Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu; Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres; PLO leaders Hannan Ashrawi and Saib Erikat; physicist Edward Teller; countless celebrities; veterans of WWII, Vietnam and Iraq wars; and over 100 Holocaust and Hiroshima survivors.
In 2008, Asner’s world was changed forever when his youngest son, Will, was diagnosed with Autism. He was familiar with Autism, having grown up with a brother who was on the spectrum. In 2012, he left his successful film career and became the Executive Director for Autism Speaks in Southern California. Since then, he has dedicated himself to the millions of people affected by autism and related disorders in the world.
Asner has combined his production talents and love of music with his fundraising prowess to create the annual “Light Up The Blues” concert series featuring top performers including Dave Grohl, John Mayer, Stephen Stills, Neil Young among many others.
Having successfully increased Autism Speaks profile in Southern California, Asner became the Director of Corporate Development for the organization in 2014, where he created highly successful national campaigns.
In September 2016 Asner became the Vice President of Development for Autism Society of America. Since then he has created Autfest, the first international film festival relating to autism. Autfest premiered in April of 2017 and has honored Ben Affleck, Pixar, Sony, Atypical and The Good Doctor.
In March of 2018 Asner with his wife, Navah and father, Ed, announced the creation of The Ed Asner Family Center. An organization dedicated to providing arts enrichment to special needs individuals and at the same time providing mental health support to their families.
Asner is an autism expert and spokesperson, appearing on national media and numerous international autism and disability conferences. He is the host of his own talk show hosted by Autism Live called, On The Spectrum.
Asner resides in Los Angeles, California, and is married to Navah Paskowitz. They have six children between them, including three on the autism spectrum.