Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to the late Hollywood actor, Ken Howard

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25 Mar 2016

“We join the world acting fraternity in mourning the passing of the much-loved Hollywood actor and exemplary union leader, Ken Howard,” said Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Ken Howard rose to fame when playing a basketball coach in the sports TV series, The White Shadow. In his long career, he won a Tony Award, an Emmy Award and the Golden Globe. Notably he played Thomas Jefferson first on Broadway and then in the 1972 film ‘1776’. He also co-starred in many a series and feature film.

“Ken Howard was not content only to act. He brought to acting a thoughtfulness and intelligence. He crossed borders. He lent a hand to help others. He pledged unity and succeeded when others had failed. He became President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 2009. His efforts in helping to bring together the SAG and AFRTA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Union) unions were rewarded through the merger in 2012. He was re-elected to continue as the President of SAG-AFTRA, in 2015, a position he had occupied since 2012.”

“It was not easy to keep unity in the midst of the convergence of the entertainment industry with the effects of digitization impacting on actors’ earnings. So much needed to be negotiated and there was criticism of his leadership. But despite this, he remained determined and firmly at the helm.”

“All these achievements and accolades as well as his kindness to fellow actors and generosity of spirit will mean that he is always remembered and will be sorely missed.”

“His dedication is also an example for all of us in South Africa as we strengthen our efforts to unify artists in the creative and cultural industries. Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife, his friends and his fans,” said Minister Mthethwa.


For more info: contact Lisa Combrinck at 082 821 4886.