SAG-AFTRA members Jackie Joseph and Kathryn “Kitty” Swink, and former SAG President Alan Rosenberg have been selected as the recipients of the 2023 Ralph Morgan Award, the SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Local’s highest honor. The award was presented to Joseph on July 11, and the presentation for Rosenberg and Swink is to be scheduled later this year.
Joseph’s career began in 1958 as a featured performer and singer in the “Billy Barnes Revue” of 1958. She is best known for her performances in “The Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Doris Day Show” and “Gremlins.” Joseph is also a founding member of Actors and Others for Animals, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring good, loving care for pet companions.
Joseph served on the AFTRA National and Local boards as well as the Screen Actors Guild National Board before the merger of SAG and AFTRA. Post-merger, she was a member of several SAG-AFTRA committees, including the National Diversity Advisory, Elections, National Women’s, and TV/Theatrical Animation Negotiating committees, to name a few.
Rosenberg, who served as the 24th president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2005–2009, served on many union committees, including the National Executive, National Honors & Tributes and the TV/Theatrical Wages & Working Conditions Plenary and Negotiating committees.
Best known for “The Wanderers,” “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Miracle Mile,” Rosenberg had a lasting impact on the film and TV industry. He has also been active in the fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and works to raise both money and awareness for breast cancer.
Swink is known for her work on “Star Trek,” “Riley Parra” and “JAG.” She served on the Screen Actors Guild Executive Board and the Pension & Health Board of Trustees as well as on a number of other SAG-AFTRA committees, including the TV/Theatrical Contract Negotiating, National Disciplinary Review and National Women’s committees.
As a 19-year survivor of pancreatic cancer, Swink works to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and eliminating the disease.
Established in 1981, the Ralph Morgan Award is named in honor of the first president of the Screen Actors Guild and recognizes SAG-AFTRA members or union staff for their devotion to serving members. Morgan served three terms as SAG president, first during the union’s inception in 1933, and then additional terms in 1938–1940. Upon the end of his final term as president, the SAG Board presented him with a scroll reading, “Devotion to the cause of actors, courage to fight for the right, sacrifice of self for others have made the name of Ralph Morgan a symbol of loyalty.”
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, influencers and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists in the 21st century and beyond. Visit sagaftra.org online or find us on social (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).