A jubilant Screen Actor's Guild President Ken Howard on Jan. 29 announced union members would be voting on merging with the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists at long last.
Howard quipped that he has spent more time with AFTRA President Roberta Reardon than any other woman "not in bed" other than his mother in order to work through the details of merger.
On the red carpet earlier in the afternoon, Reardon told The Hollywood Reporter that AFTRA members were "excited and hopeful," and added that merger will allow the new union to "move forward and address all the problems that we've not been able to address well separately."
What this would have meant for me is that I could have auditioned for parts that only SAG members could take when I had only an AFTRA card. I only had TV credits, cast as a nurse on "One Life to Live" and a walk-on for "The Bold and the Beautiful" on daytime TV. I was able to get my AFTRA card because I had lines on "One Life to Live," (a spoken part). Just a walk-on or as an extra wouldn't have been enough to earn a union card as I recall.
The SAG Awards show began with individual audience members such as Jon Cryer of "Two and a Half Men" who said that as a child he wanted to be either an actor or an astronaut. "Both have their advantages. Actors get to meet and work with the most beautiful women in the world. Astronauts get to spend long durations of space flights in suits filled with their own urine. "
Betty White won the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her role as Elka in the TV Land original sitcom, "Hot in Cleveland."
"This nomination belongs to four of us. Please, please know that I'm dealing them right in with this. I'm not going to let them keep this, but I'll let them see it." Betty White, said of her co-stars in the series.
Mary Tyler Moore of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" as well as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was presented the lifetime achievement award by Dick Van Dyke, who played her husband on the original TV series named for him.
Van Dyke, 86, spoke fondly of the actress, saying: "I know everyone loves her, but I mean, I'm serious about it. I saw her first."
He went on to say many people thought they were married in real life as well as on the show.
In accepting the award, Moore quipped from the theme song of her show, "I guess I did make it after all."
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at www.kathrynskorner.com