Into the shad­ows

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ -

KEN Howard, veteran char­ac­ter ac­tor- turned- union leader and star of clas­sic TV show The White Shadow, died last Wed­nes­day at his Los An­ge­les home. He was 71.

As pres­i­dent of the Screen Ac­tors Guild since 2009, who over­saw the merger with the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Tele­vi­sion and Ra­dio Artists ( SAG- AFTRA), Howard was last seen at the 22nd An­nual Screen Ac­tors Guild awards in Jan­uary.

A cause of death was not dis­closed.

Howard was an Emmy- win­ning ac­tor with a re­sume of screen and Broad­way cred­its dat­ing back to 1969, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­net Movie Data­base.

He earned his Emmy in 2009 for his per­for­mance as Phe­lan Beale, the hus­band of Jes­sica Lange’s Big Edie, in HBO’s 2009 film Grey Gar­dens, in­spired by Al­bert and David Maysles’ clas­sic 1970s doc­u­men­tary of the same name.

But many baby boomers will re­mem­ber Howard in the ground­break­ing drama se­ries The White Shadow, which aired from 19781981, about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween a white high school bas­ket­ball coach, played by Howard, and his team of mostly African-Amer­i­can play­ers.

It was one of the first times Amer­i­cans could watch on their TVs an ensemble drama with a mostly African- Amer­i­can cast, even though a white ac­tor was in the lead role.

But he also had roles in such fare as Mur­der, She Wrote, Mel­rose Place, Cross­ing Jor­dan, and 30 Rock. His last two movie roles were in 2015 in The Wed­ding Ringer and Joy.

Va­ri­ety said his most sig­nif­i­cant re­cent film role was 2007’ s thriller Michael Clay­ton, star­ring Ge­orge Clooney. Howard played a ruth­less CEO of a cor­po­ra­tion in a mul­ti­mil­lion- dol­lar class ac­tion law­suit.

In his younger days, Howard was tall and blond, bluff and bar­rel- chested, with a strong screen pres­ence. In his later years, he was re­spected as a strong union leader, who led the 2012 SAG- AFTRA merger with a sin­gu­lar fo­cus.

The merged union now rep­re­sents nearly 160,000 ac­tors, broad­cast­ers and record­ing artists. Union of­fi­cials were quick to pay trib­ute.

“He was an ex­cep­tional per­son and we are deeply sad­dened by his pass­ing,” said ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor David White. “He had a re­mark­able ca­reer and he never forgot what it was like to be a work­ing per­former.”

He was “in­spi­ra­tional,” added act­ing Pres­i­dent Gabrielle Car­teris. “He was a light that never dimmed and was com­pletely de­voted to the membership,” she said. “He led us through tu­mul­tuous times and set our union on a steady course of ex­cel­lence. We will be for­ever in his debt.”

Howard is sur­vived by his wife Linda Fet­ters. He was mar­ried twice be­fore, in­clud­ing to Margo Howard, daugh­ter of Ann Lan­ders, the late ad­vice colum­nist. – Maria Puente/ USA Today/ Tri­bune News Ser­vice

Photo: reuters

Ken Howard 1944- 2016

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.