Manny P. here…
The current president of the Screen Actors Guild was a pro-active leader, who had the best interest of the performers he represented. He was also instrumental in the collaborative effort merging SAG-AFTRA. Ken Howard (right) was additionally a charismatic character actor, who was comfortable in a variety of celluloid settings. He is best remembered for being the headstrong coach in the 1970s drama, The White Shadow.
Howard began in show business on Broadway in Promises Promises with Jerry Orbach. In 1970, he won a Tony Award as Best Supporting Actor (Dramatic) for Child’s Play. Ken later co-starred in the stage version of 1776 as Thomas Jefferson, and he reprised the role in the 1972 film.
His cinematic career was notable, with roles in Clear and Present Danger, The Net, Oscar, Rambo, Michael Clayton, and J. Edgar. On the small screen, Ken was prolific, guest-starring in Bonanza, Dynasty, The Colby’s, Murder She Wrote, The Practice, Boston Legal, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, The Golden Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and recently, The Office and 30 Rock. He won an Emmy in 2009 for his performance in Grey Gardens.
Howard was the author of Act Natural: How to Speak to Any Audience, based on drama courses he has taught at Harvard University. On a personal note, I met Ken at a recent SAG Awards show, and I found our president to be very approachable and a real gentleman.
The genial Ken Howard was 71.
Joe Garagiola had a nine-year baseball career. His 57 years in broadcasting that followed made him one of the most popular figures in the sports world and beyond. His NBC broadcasts of the Grand Old Game on Saturday mornings was a staple for generations of baseball fans. He became a fixture on the network’s Today program.
Growing up in the Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, not far from future Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, Garagiola went on to hit .257 during his years in the Major Leagues. The two remained lifelong friends. His highlight came early, getting a four-hit game in the 1946 World Series, and helping his hometown Cardinals win a championship as a 20-year-old rookie. Garagiola played for the Cardinals, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago Cubs.
Garagiola broke into broadcasting in 1955 as a radio and television analyst for the Cardinals. He spent 27 years at NBC, and was paired with Tony Kubek as the lead broadcast team from 1976-82; and then with Vin Scully from 1984-88. Joe won baseball’s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting in 1991. He kept working, serving as a part-time analyst for Arizona Diamondbacks telecasts until he announced his retirement in February 2013. Garagiola was a co-host of the Today show from 1969-1973, working with Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs; and again from 1990-1992, working with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric.
Garagiola (above) helped found the Baseball Assistance Team in 1986 to assist former players and other baseball figures in financial need; and was a leading figure in the National Spit Tobacco Education Program.
One of the really good guys, Joe Garagiola was 90.
Until next time> “never forget”