Joseph Ruskin, veteran television, film and stage actor and longtime SAG board member, died Saturday of natural causes at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, according to a statement from SAG-AFTRA. He was 89. Ruskin’s television credits number more than 120 including appearances on The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Mission Impossible, Murder She Wrote, L.A. Law and most recently Bones. His film work includes roles in The Magnificent Seven, Prizzi’s Honor, Indecent Proposal and Smokin’ Aces. Ruskin began his career in theatre, performing over the years at the Mark Taper Forum, UCLA’s Freud Playhouse and Theater 40. His final performance came this year as a member of the Antaeus Theatre Company.
A long-serving actors’ union member and officer, Ruskin became the first Western Regional Vice President of Actors Equity Association in 1979 and was on the Screen Actors Guild board from 1976-1999, serving as 1st National Vice President for eight of those years. He was honored for distinguished service by AEA with the Lucy Jordan Award in 2003 and the Patrick Quinn Award in 2013, and by SAG with the Ralph Morgan Award in 2011.
Plans for a memorial service are pending. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to The Actor’s Fund, the SAG Foundation or the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
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