LOS ANGELES, March 23, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The star of the ’70s TV show “The White Shadow,” Ken Howard, has passed away. He was 71.
Howard’s death was confirmed by a statement from SAG-AFTRA, which read: “We are deeply saddened to announce that SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard passed away today,” the statement said.
“Ken was an accomplished actor, author, teacher and unionist whose steady leadership as president of Screen Actors Guild positioned him to guide the union’s historic 2012 merger with American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
“In addition to his many professional credits, awards and other laudatory work, he led the union for nearly seven years, and was devoted to the interests of its membership.”
The cause of death was not announced.
The Yale-educated Howard first rose to fame for his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson in the 1969 musical “1776,” a role he also performed in the 1972 screen version.
In 1970, he won a Tony for his performance in the work “Child’s Play.”
His TV role as Ken Reeves, a white basketball coach of an urban Los Angeles high school in the series “The White Shadow” made Howard a household name.
According to his IMDB Bio, Ken Howard was a regular on “Dynasty” and “The Colbys” in the mid-1980s, and popped up repeatedly on “Murder, She Wrote” and “30 Rock.”
He also appeared in such movies as 1994’s “Clear and Present Danger,” 1999’s “At First Sight” and 2007’s “Michael Clayton.”
In 2009, he became head of the Screen Actors Guild. That union merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio in 2012.
SAG-AFTRA praised Howard’s leadership in its statement.
“He will be remembered not only as the final president of Screen Actors Guild and the man who led it successfully to unite with AFTRA, but also as the first president to be elected by the members of SAG-AFTRA,” the statement said. “He was proud and honored to embody that continuity.”
Margo Howard, the daughter of Ann Landers and a former advice columnist herself, was married to Howard from 1977 to 1991.
“My favorite ex-husband has died,” she wrote in a tweet. “He was a lovely guy. RIP Ken Howard.”