Los Angeles (February 9, 2011) - Screen Actors Guild announced today that actors Dan Fitzgerald of the Florida Branch and Will Lyman of the Boston Branch will be the co-recipients of the 3rd Annual Howard Keel Award for their significant contributions to the Guild. The Howard Keel Award is the highest honor given by the Screen Actors Guild Regional Branch Division, and will be presented in May at the Regional Branch Division's annual Regional Branch Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Dan Fitzgerald joined SAG in 1957, a year before Howard Keel took the reins as national president, and is also a member of AFTRA, and a former Actors’ Equity Association member. He has worked steadily in films, television shows and commercials while juggling board, SAG Foundation, and community service over the course of three decades. As a performer, he had featured roles in the television series Wiseguy and Miami Vice, as well as theatrical films In Her Shoes, Mean Season, and The Greatest, to name a few.
Fitzgerald served as a Branch councilor from 1982-95 and again from 2003-10. He also served five terms as Florida Branch vice president (1984-94), three terms as Florida Branch president (1994-2000) and three terms on the National Board (1989-98). He chaired and served on many national and local committees, and was often on the frontlines during the 2000 Commercials Strike.
In 2001, Fitzgerald received the Florida Branch’s highest accolade, the Bruce McLaughlin Award. He has been deeply dedicated to spreading literacy through the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s BookPALS, and was instrumental in bringing the program to the state of Florida. Since its inception, he has been a tireless volunteer, reading to children in schools on a regular basis. In 2008 he was awarded “Florida BookPAL of the Year.”
In addition, Fitzgerald is a military veteran, having served during the Korean War and he entertained the troops during his military service and after, including shows performed with Eddie Fisher.
Will Lyman, nationally known as the voice of PBS’ Frontline, has been a dedicated union member since joining SAG in 1973. Lyman’s extensive career as a stage, film and television actor includes starring or featured roles in such television series as Commander-in-Chief and Threat Matrix, and in the films What Doesn't Kill You, Little Children, Mystic River, The Siege, A Perfect Murder and Welcome to the Dollhouse.
Lyman first served the Boston Branch in the mid-1990s, and by 1999, served as 2nd vice president of the Boston Council, and was the Branch's National Board member from 2002-08.
Lyman has served on the National Executive Committee, and as RBD co-chair of the National Agent Relations Committee. He was very active in Boston during the 2000 Commercials Strike, and has chaired many Branch Wages and Working Conditions Committees and has been part of several National Negotiating Committees. With his Branch and national service, Lyman earned the respect and admiration of his fellow members for his statesmanlike approach.
“I can’t think of two finer examples of actor-activists serving in our Regional Branches today than Dan Fitzgerald and Will Lyman,” said SAG 3rd Vice President David Hartley-Margolin, chair of the Regional Branch Division. "Their service exemplifies the contributions Howard Keel envisioned in his championing of a national union."
Named for the legendary actor-singer and former SAG president serving from 1958-59, 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.
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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 over 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet 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 SAG.org.
Contact: Pamela Greenwalt
Communications Executive Director
Screen Actors Guild