Although I was impressed with Ken's leadership of SAG-AFTRA in the past few years, my memory of Ken is a personal one. I was a college-aged acting intern at Williamstown Theatre Festival during the summer that Ken starred in Holiday by Philip Barry. As part of my apprenticeship duties, I was Marisa Berenson's dresser for that show. And while I learned a lot about the work of a professional actor that summer, one of the more surprising pre-show rituals I've ever seen is watching Ken play mime basketball backstage with co-star Christopher Reeve, in their tuxes. To see these huge men, huge stars, find a sense of play before going onstage together is something I'll never forget. He will be missed in so many ways, I am sure, but I will keep this memory of both men with me.
A wonderful actor, a staunch and tireless union supporter. Whenever we crossed paths at convention or on his many visits to the New York Local, he always took time to listen to regular members' concerns. He will be sorely missed! R.I.P.
I was saddened when I heard the news as I remembered meeting him for the first time on the set of Damien the Leper Priest, at TV movie on which I was chosen to play one of the Hawaiian Princesses. It was one of my first jobs and he had come on the project to replace David Janssen who had just passed. I remember him being warm and welcoming to me and the rest of the background that day. Just down to earth. RIP Ken.
I am both shocked and greatly saddened by the death of Ken Howard. Though personally, I spent only a little time with him way back in 1969 in Philadelphia, when we were on tour with different plays, I strongly supported his tenure at SAG which, due to his efforts, is now SAG-AFTRA. He really cared about actors and our union and will be deeply missed. Thanks, Ken.
I am a background actor here in New York, and have been in SAG-AFTRA for 15 years. I am saddened by my union’s loss of a good leader. I have always felt so protected by this union, both as a principal actor and as a background actor, and I know that it has to do with his leadership. My husband and I had the opportunity to attend a SAG Awards show in L.A. a few years ago, and it was wonderful to hear Ken speak to all of us about what the union had done for its members, and what it would continue to do in the future.
Wow. This is a man I was grateful to have as this union's president. What a kind, gentle, loving heart. He was the White Shadow to me. And what a pleasure it is to know that he created that role that was so perfect for him. He really did change me with his portrayal and the stories they brought to life through that series. Thank God that kind of diversity existed in television, because it became the foundation upon which there could be so many more African-American actors working than ever before. We can take a page from then for now. This is the kind of pioneer this man was. Although I'm not familiar with all of his work as SAG and SAG-AFTRA President, I'm grateful that he was with us while he was. Go softly into the night, gentle soul. Thank you for your diligence. I'm sure you wanted to do more, but this will do for now. It is enough. Be well.
I had a huge crush on Ken back in his Broadway singing days. Tall, blonde and handsome, he was wonderful in “1776” – wonderful in all he tackled. When he became SAG-AFTRA president I was delighted for those of us at NPR, knowing he would do his very best for us. In our last round of negotiations, although we had no more than a “hello, how are you?” relationship, he called me personally to wave the flag and rally us, during truly difficult contract days. Heartfelt sympathy to the family, and solidarity and sympathy to all my union brothers and sisters.
Some of my fondest memories of Ken was his role in The White Shadow. I can remember as a young girl watching the show with pure enjoyment! What a great actor, what a great leader! I can only hope and pray that we will find another SAG-AFTRA President with the same passion and compassion as Ken. You will be missed!
-Charlotte Haynes Hazzard
The news that my union president Ken Howard had passed on yesterday pushed me into a chair, leaving me saddened and speechless. It is a privilege and an honor to be a member of SAG-AFTRA, and Ken Howard’s leadership made my participation in the union all that more important. Thank you Ken, missing you already!
-Scott De Roy
Rest in peace Ken Howard, and thank you for all you did for the SAG-AFTRA community. Your dedication and commitment to the members will be a legacy that will live on in the foundation set by you and your team. To the SAG-AFTRA officers and the family of Ken Howard, I offer my deepest condolences.