SAG-AFTRA mourns the passing of Paul Napier, a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild Awards show. Napier died Feb. 21 at the age of 84.
Napier began his Screen Actors Guild board service in 1979, serving at various points as 3rd vice president and 9th vice president. He was a member of the negotiating committee for national contracts more than two dozen times, and served on the SAG Awards Committee for nearly two decades. He was elected to AFTRA’s Los Angeles Board in 1985 and appointed to the National Board the following year. He served on the AFTRA board for almost three decades. Napier was also a longtime member of SAG’s National Honors and Tributes Committee and was among the members who selected Life Achievement recipients.
Napier, who was born March 10, 1930, began his career in Rochester, N.Y., as the announcer for a hockey team and a broadcaster for WBBF radio. In 1960, he moved to California to try his luck in Hollywood. In 1977, he was chosen to portray the original Mr. Goodwrench for General Motors’ advertising campaign and continued to be a successful actor in more than 400 commercials.
His acting career also included parts on Kojak, Dynasty, Knots Landing and L.A. Law, as well as work on commercials and video games.
In 2010, Napier, along with actor Gloria Stuart, was chosen to receive the Ralph Morgan Award, the highest honor presented by Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood Division.
“Paul’s successful acting career is just one facet of a deeply engaged and engaging person. Whether it was dedication to coaching youth sports, serving fellow union members or helping to create our highly respected awards show, everything Paul touched was better for his involvement. He gave so much to SAG-AFTRA and to his fellow members,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. “Our deepest condolences go out to his wonderful wife Marie, his children and grandchildren and his many friends and fans.”