• William Schallert continues as SAG president
  • Bill Hillman re-elected AFTRA national president
  • Strike: SAG/AFTRA TV-Theatrical Strike begins July 21 for SAG and June 22 for AFTRA over contract terms including profit participation for performers in Pay-TV, video disc and video cassettes. It is AFTRA’s third national strike, and the Guild’s 5th.
  • Strike Fund distributes $500,000 to affected Screen Actors Guild members, raised at "An Evening of Stars," Hollywood Bowl strike benefit with Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, many others. Tentative agreement reached Sept. 25 and ratified by the membership October 23.  The disappointing results of this strike will motivate the unions to explore merger again.
  • Reagan: Former SAG President and California Governor, Ronald Reagan, elected 40th President of the United States.


  • Edward Asner, star of hit TV show Lou Grant,  elected SAG President, defeating incumbent William Schallert
  • Bill Hillman re-elected AFTRA national president
  • Diversity/Disabilities/PWD/Merger: SAG uses sign language interpreters for first time at Annual Meeting, and National Executive Secretary, Chet Migden addresses the membership in favor of SAG/AFTRA merger, stating "I am convinced that we cannot confront conglomerates, in fact, a conglomeration of conglomerates, with fractionalized forces"- Migden adds SAG will also initiate merger discussions with Screen Extras Guild
  • Merger: "Phase 1" SAG/AFTRA merger plan approved by membership
  • Reagan: Overworked, exhausted members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) finally walk out in illegal strike - Reagan gives strikers 48 hours to return to the job, then fires those who do not.
  • Reagan: Controversy ensues when it is prematurely revealed that the Screen Actors Guild Awards Committee has chosen Ronald Reagan to receive the Guild’s Annual Award (now called the Life Achievement Award). No award given that year.


  • Edward Asner continues as SAG president
  • Bill Hillman re-elected AFTRA national president
  • Creation of the new AMPTP (since 1964, its name was the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers) announced in February:  initials will now stand for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Members:  MGM, UA, Disney, Universal, Paramount, 20th Century-Fox, Columbia, Embassy Communications, Aaron Spelling Productions, Lorimar.  
  • Merger/Screen Extras Guild: SAG members vote on merger with Screen Extras Guild. Results May 10th -- with 57% SAG members voting in favor it fails to pass. 60% minimum required for passage.

1983 – Screen Actors Guild’s 50th anniversary year

  • Edward Asner re-elected SAG president
  • Bill Hillman re-elected AFTRA national president
  • Contract negotiations: SAG faces negotiations for the first time with merged producer group, the "Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers" formed previous year by combining members of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers and The Alliance (Paramount & Universal studios).
  • The Screen Actors Guild’s 50th Anniversary celebrated with a TV Special and Golden Gala Ball in Hollywood, and a Moving Picture Ball in New York


  • Edward Asner continues as SAG president.
  • Frank Maxwell, longtime character actor of film and television, elected AFTRA national president.
  • Merger/Screen Extras Guild: SAG sends out second vote on merger with Screen Extras Guild, which fails again (only 52% vote in favor of it, which is 5% fewer than the 1982 vote, and still below the 60% needed for passage)
  • Contracts: SAG creates additional low-budget motion picture agreement, giving advantages to productions that hire more women, minorities, seniors, and disabled performers
  • SAG’s New York branch forms Women's Voice-Over Committee to study why women get only 10-20 % of voiceover work.


  • Patty Duke, former star of hit TV program The Patty Duke Show in the 1960s, and recent star of short-lived TV comedy Hail to the Chief where she played the first woman U.S. president, is elected second woman president of SAG.
  • Frank Maxwell re-elected AFTRA national president


  • Patty Duke continues as SAG president
  • Frank Maxwell re-elected AFTRA national president
  • Women's voice-over study by McCollum/Spielman and Company indicates "it makes absolutely no difference whether a male or female voice is used as a TV commercial voice-over," destroying long-held advertising industry assertion that male voices "sell better" and carry "more authority"

1987 AFTRA’s 50th Anniversary year.

  • Patty Duke continues as SAG president
  • Frank Maxell re-elected AFTRA national president
  • Residuals: SAG residual payments hit total of one billion dollars
  • AFTRA National Board implements "no contract/no work" rule
  • Strikes: June 15-July 24 - SAG Animation strike, the Guild’s 6th. Guild wins increase in minimum session fees, and extra pay for additional voices


  • Patty Duke resigns SAG presidency in June, due to her upcoming role of a producer. SAG 1st VP Barry Gordon, professional actor since childhood and currently voice actor on the popular animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles becomes “acting president.” [then president by acclimation by year’s end by vote of the board of directors in December]
  • Frank Maxwell re-elected AFTRA national president.
  • Strikes: Writers Guild of America, East and West,  begins 154-day strike from March 7-August 8
  • Strikes: SAG/AFTRA TV Commercials Strike, March 21-April 15, achieves payment for cable use.  It is the Guild’s 7th strike.
  • Organizing – Spanish language. SAG signs contract for the first U.S.-produced and U.S. broadcast Spanish language dramatic TV series, El Juez, with Genesis International.


  • Barry Gordon elected SAG president by the members after completing Patty Duke’s term
  • Reed Farrell, Chicago actor-announcer, becomes the first AFTRA National President elected to a two-year term at the union’s 52nd Annual Convention, in Boston; AFTRA voted a constitutional amendment to establish biennial national conventions, replacing yearly with every two years, thus extending the president’s term length to two years.
  • Contract negotiations: New speed record in SAG/AFTRA Theatrical/TV negotiations, consisting of just three days of talks - gains include 12.5% increase in minimum wages & certain residuals over 3 years; new minimum salary for "Top of the Show" performers; and increase in residuals for free TV shows released to basic cable
  • Legislation/privacy rights: Actress Rebecca Schaeffer of My Sister Sam TV show shot and killed by obsessed "fan" - in wake of Schaeffer slaying, SAG lobbies California legislature for more privacy rights, creating new DMV bill protecting access to home addresses.

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