Ronald Reagan got his start in politics at Screen Actors Guild (SAG), leading the union during a period in which it tackled many of the same issues confronting working actors today – including runaway production, fair compensation, and unity in an increasingly complex industry. In the upcoming issue of SAG’s quarterly Screen Actor magazine, Guild historian Valerie Yaros details Reagan’s legacy, beginning with his Guild involvement in the 1940s through his service as SAG president from 1947-1952 and again from 1959-1960.
Los Angeles, CA (June 5, 2004) – Screen Actors Guild (SAG) President Melissa Gilbert issued the following statement on the death of former President Ronald Reagan, who served as president of SAG from 1947 to 1952 and again from 1959 to 1960:
"Ronald Reagan presided over Screen Actors Guild at one of the most challenging moments in our union's history, as the rise of television significantly impacted the compensation and working conditions for the nation's screen actors. Under his tenure, SAG grew significantly in size and influence as the Guild tackled issues ranging from runaway production, to fair compensation, to unity in an increasingly complex industry – all issues that remain timely to working actors today.
"It can be said that Ronald Reagan got his start in politics at Screen Actors Guild. He served as president of the union twice, from 1947 to 1952 and again from 1959 to 1960. While President Reagan's politics grew conservative over the years and, at times, at odds with the nation's labor movement, there can be no question that he devoted years of his life to advancing the wages, benefits and working conditions of his fellow actors. He leaves behind an enduring legacy to this industry, as he does to the country as a whole. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today."