Former SAG president Richard Masur will be this year’s recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s President’s Award, which “celebrates a member who has given meritorious service to the union and its membership.” The award will be presented Saturday at the union’s national board meeting.
“It is an honor and privilege for me to recognize Richard’s many contributions with this award,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “For decades, he has worked to enrich the lives of performers; from volunteering on committees, serving on local and national boards, to ultimately two terms as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. Richard embodies the true meaning of leadership and service.”
In 1989, at a friend’s suggestion, Masur ran and was elected to a SAG board seat, and was elected SAG president in 1995, serving two terms until 1999. Seven years later, he returned to the national board and played a key role in the process that developed the merger agreement between SAG and AFTRA, which merged in 2012.
He began his professional acting career in 1972 at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven before moving to Broadway the following year in The Changing Room. His career quickly expanded to film and television as a character actor, appearing in more than 60 feature films and TV movies and scores of television episodes. He received an Emmy nomination for The Burning Bed, and an Academy Award nomination for writing and directing the short subject Love Struck.
Masur has served on more than two dozen committees and is currently the national chair of the union’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Committee, leading the union’s legislative efforts. He is also vice chair of the Telemundo Contract Standing Committee, working on behalf of the Spanish-language performer community. He’s also a trustee on the SAG-Producers Pension Plan and the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan.
The President’s Award was introduced at last year’s SAG-AFTRA convention, where it was first presented, posthumously, to Mike Hodge, the late New York Local President.