LOS ANGELES (June 23, 2009) – Screen Actors Guild today announced that longtime SAG members George Coe and Sumi Haru have been selected to receive the Hollywood Division’s prestigious Ralph Morgan Award. Coe has served on the Guild’s National Board of Directors for eight of the last nine years, as well as from 1967 to 1973. He is a member of SAG’s National Executive Committee and National Agents Relations Committee. Haru has been a SAG National Board Member since 1975, serving as national vice president, national recording secretary and, in 1995, as acting president. Both have generously given their time and expertise in service to the Guild’s membership and all actors.
"We are doubly privileged this year to have two very worthy Ralph Morgan Award recipients,” said SAG National Honors and Tributes Committee Co-Chair Paul Napier. “Sumi Haru’s selfless service to Screen Actors Guild and dedication to protecting the rights of actors makes it an honor and a privilege to present her with this award.”
“Not only have Hollywood members benefitted from years of voluntary service by George Coe, but this highly dedicated contributor continues today to actively serve the membership, certainly making him deserving of this honor," added Pamela Reed SAG National Honors and Tributes Committee Co-Chair.
The Ralph Morgan Award is named after SAG’s first president who led the fight to establish a union for screen actors in 1933. It is given periodically for distinguished service to the Guild’s Hollywood membership. The honor will be bestowed Sunday, June 28 as part of the Annual Hollywood Division Membership Meeting at the Los Angeles Marriott Downtown.
About George Coe
George Coe’s acting career includes more than 50 years of film, television, commercial and stage work. Coe has had a lengthy career as a commercial performer both on camera and voice over, including six years as the voice of Toyota. Coe has served on the Guild’s National Board of Directors for eight of the last nine years, as well as from 1967 to 1973. While a National Board Member from the New York Division (1967-1973), Coe served as Vice President for two years and created the template for what became SAG’s first low budget production contract. Currently, as a National Board Member from the Hollywood Division, he is a member of SAG’s National Executive Committee and National Agents Relations Committee.
About Sumi Haru
Sumi Haru is a producer, actor, electronic and print journalist, writer and poet. Haru has been a SAG National Board Member since 1975, serving as national vice president, national recording secretary and, in 1995, as acting president. In addition to her Board service, Haru was co-founder and is national committee chair of SAG's Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee, originated the EEOC Career Day and helped develop SAG's affirmative action conferences. Haru was a co-drafter and negotiator of the "American Scene" language and affirmative action clauses for the national TV/Theatrical and Commercials contracts. She chaired SAG’s Legislative Committee and has served as a legislative advocate on the national, state and local levels. She is a trustee and former president of the SAG-Producers Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund, and is a former board member of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. In addition, Haru was the first and only Asian Pacific American to serve as a national vice president of the AFL-CIO, a position she held for six years.
Among the previous recipients of the Ralph Morgan Award are past SAG Presidents Ed Asner, Dennis Weaver, William Schallert and Kathleen Nolan, Guild National Executive Directors Ken Orsatti, Jack Dales and Chet Migden, and members and past officers Ann Doran, Warren Kemmerling, Kent McCord, Ron Soble, John Randolph, Scott Wilson and Marie Windsor, Guild Executive Assistant Joan Hanson and, most recently, Yale Summers.
The Ralph Morgan Award recipients are selected by the Hollywood Division of the Screen Actors Guild Honors and Tributes Committee.
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 actors who work in film and digital television programs, motion pictures, commercials, video games, music videos, industrials and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at www.sag.org.