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Screen Actors Guild Announces Sheldon Smith as Howard Keel Award Honoree

Washington, D.C. (December 1, 2009) - Screen Actors Guild announced today that Washington-Baltimore Branch member Sheldon Smith will receive the 2nd Annual Howard Keel Award for his tireless contributions to the Guild. Smith joined SAG in Detroit in 1968 and will receive his honor at the Regional Branch Division's annual board meeting this spring.

"I am honored and humbled by this recognition," said Smith. "To me, it reflects the gratitude I have for my membership in the Guild and in AFTRA. Being a union member has afforded me professional opportunities I would not otherwise have enjoyed and my earned union benefits have allowed me to be a full-time working actor with a long and rewarding career."

Based in Washington, D.C. since 1986, Smith is an award-winning actor/narrator and perhaps the best-known voice of Republican media campaigns in America. He is a four-time winner of the Peer Award for Voiceover/Narration, most recently the 2009 Peer Gold Award for A Restless Giant - The Ever-Changing Nature of Mount Rainier, produced for the National Park Service by Henninger Productions. Smith is also the recipient of 19 Telly Awards, multiple Pollie Awards and Reed Awards, and a CINE Golden Eagle Award, among other recognitions. For more than 30 years, he has specialized exclusively in voiceover.

Among his contributions to the Guild, Smith serves as a member of SAG's National Financial Core Task Force, and his passion is for both internal and external organizing. For the past several years, he has presented a very popular workshop nationwide which teaches members how to convert non-union work into union jobs. Smith has also participated in every Branch Wages & Working Conditions Committee for both the Commercials and Industrial Contracts for over 20 years.

"Sheldon has lent his time, energy, intellect and considerable talent to an extraordinary number of efforts that have benefited not only Washington-Baltimore members, but members across the country," said SAG 3rd National Vice President David Hartley-Margolin. "Sheldon's service has been tireless, staggering, and offered for years without regard for recognition, making him more than deserving of this distinguished award."

Named for the legendary actor-singer and former SAG president, the Howard Keel Award is annually presented to persons who make a significant contribution to the promotion of Screen Actors Guild and to the welfare and benefit of members in their Branch, or nationally, as part of the Regional Branch Division.