Marsha Hunt, Norman Lloyd, June Lockhart and Barbara Perry will receive the SAG-AFTRA Founders Award for their historic contributions to the union. The special tribute for “meritorious service” to their fellow actors will be presented Saturday at the union’s national board meeting.
“I am so honored to recognize the extraordinary achievements of these courageous actors and leaders,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Their pioneering spirit and advocacy for their union and peers in those early years was pivotal and helped to make us who we are today.”
Hunt, who turns 100 on Wednesday, is one of the last survivors of the Hollywood Blacklist. She joined SAG in 1938 and was a SAG board member from March 1945-November 1947 under presidents George Murphy, Robert Montgomery and Ronald Reagan. In the 1950s her name appeared in “Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television,” and, like many others at the time, her onscreen career largely came to a halt. She continued to get occasional work in television, and in 1997 participated in Hollywood Remembers the Blacklist – the industry’s 50th anniversary commemoration of that dark era. In 2015, SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard presented her with the Marsha Hunt for Humanity Award at the seventh annual Kat Kramer’s Films That Change the World event.
Lloyd, who turns 104 next month, joined SAG in 1939 and is Hollywood’s oldest working actor, currently appearing in the TV series Fly. He played the title character in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1942 Saboteur but is perhaps best known for his role of Dr. Daniel Auschlander on the 1980s TV series St. Elsewhere. In 1946, during the Conference of Studio Unions’ ill-fated strike, he was one of six SAG members who gathered signatures from 350 actors, including some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, to successfully petition the guild to allow participants on both sides of the strike to present their views. In 2014, in recognition of his 82 years in show business, the Los Angeles City Council proclaimed his 100th birthday “Norman Lloyd Day.”
Lockhart, best known for her work in the TV series Lassie and Lost in Space, joined AFRA, the forerunner of AFTRA, in 1938, and became a SAG member in 1940. In 1949, she and then-SAG president Ronald Reagan accepted a plaque from the Air Force honoring 32 professional entertainers who died while on tours of service in or out of battle areas in World War II. In 1983 she supported both SAG and AFTRA’s Women’s Committees in their work to bring attention to the Equal Rights Amendment.
Perry became a SAG member in 1934, one month before her 13th birthday. When she joined, she already was a seasoned professional who began her career at the age of four and by the mid-1930s was believed to be the only child performer who had appeared in concerts, stage, opera, radio, screen and television. During World War II, she served her country as an entertainer on hospital tours and performances for our troops.
“This year’s recipients are the personification of the Founders Award’s mission,” said Honors and Tributes Committee chair Jenny O’Hara. “All four are trailblazers in their own right and have been fearless in their fight for their fellow actors.”
Past recipients include Gloria Stuart and Olivia de Havilland, who were both founders and among the longest-tenured members of the union at the time of their commendation.