1933: Screen Actors Guild is conceived in March as six actors [Berton Churchill, Grant Mitchell, Ralph Morgan, Charles Miller, Kenneth Thomson and Alden Gay] meet to discuss forming a self-governing organization of film actors. • June 30: SAG Articles of Incorporation filed. 21 actors become the Guild’s first officers and Board of Directors, with Ralph Morgan as President. • Actor Ivan Simpson gives the Guild a motto: “He best serves himself who serves others.”
1934: Actors’ Equity surrenders its film jurisdiction to SAG.
1935: Guild granted an American Federation of Labor charter by the Associated Actors and Artistes of America (Four A’s). • Monthly balloting by actors on “the outstanding work of their fellows” produces first Screen Actors Guild Awards for the “Best Performances of the Month.”
1937: Screen Actors Guild recognized by moguls Louis B. Mayer and Joseph Schenck on the morning of May 9 after thousands of actors vote to strike at midnight if Guild not recognized. • Thirteen producers sign first SAG Contract, pay minimum $25 per day; $35 for stunts, $5.50 for extras.
1939: Through creation of the Screen Guild Theatre radio show (1939-1952), SAG members raise money for the Motion Picture Relief Fund to build retirement facility and hospital for actors in need. • Guild enacts first Agency Regulations.
1945: In a major victory for actors, Supreme Court hands down “de Havilland Decision”, declaring studios may hold contract players no more than seven years. (Olivia de Havilland sued Warner Bros. in 1943 for extending her contract beyond its seven years.)
1949: Ronald Reagan & Kenneth Thomson (for SAG), Roy Brewer & Dick Walsh (for IATSE) visit Harry Truman at White House to discuss Runaway Production.
1952: Monogram Studios makes agreement with SAG to pay television residuals on 70 feature films made since August 1, 1948. • SAG reports TV contracts signed. • Music Corporation of America (MCA), an agency, granted blanket waiver by SAG to also produce filmed TV programs in Hollywood on which it will also pay residuals. • SAG defeats Television Authority in final NLRB election over filmed TV programs - in September, SAG granted jurisdiction over filmed TV by the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, which declares: “Jurisdiction is hereby confirmed in SAG over all actors (including singers, announcers, stunt men, and airplane pilots) employed in the motion picture field including, without limitation, all motion pictures produced for use over television; also over all extras employed in such motion picture field in the state of New York.” • Walter Pidgeon elected SAG President, leads first-ever strike, over filmed television commercials, Dec.1, 1952 to February 18, 1953.
1953: Guild protests six year-old Taft-Hartley law, which “has permitted and is continuing to permit thousands of persons who are not professional actors … to deprive professional actors of sorely needed jobs.”
1955: SAG Television strike runs Aug. 5-15, resulting in increased TV show residuals.
1957: SAG makes deal for feature film residuals with C & C Television Corporation and Associated Artists Corporation, covering payments for “82 RKO Pictures and 12 Warner Bros. pictures produced after August, 1948 and released to television.”
1959: TV residuals increase 33% over 1958. • Ronald Reagan elected SAG President.
1960: Theatrical strike March 7-April 18 halts 8 major productions. • Strike settlement results in residuals only for films commencing after January 31, 1960, but producers’ lump payment of $2.65 million creates the Guild’s first Pension and Welfare Plan.
1963: SAG attacks discrimination: producers agree to add “American Scene” clause. • Harry Belafonte, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Charlton Heston and other SAG members join Dr. Martin Luther King in civil rights March on Washington. • Guild protests network control, urges freedom from advertising, signs first contract with subscription television.
1965: “Hollywood Overseas Committee” formed to coordinate USO entertainment of troops in Vietnam.
1969: Recognizing growth of indie filmmaking, Guild initiates low-budget theatrical contract.
1972: SAG Women’s Committee founded, shows 81.7% of roles on TV are male, vs 18.3% female. • SAG Ethnic Minorities Committee founded.
1974: Theatrical & TV contract gains include prime time TV residuals for every rerun in prime time, rather than previous practice of paying for only two reruns.
1975: Kathleen Nolan becomes the Guild’s first female National President.
1978: President Kathleen Nolan leads SAG Commercials Strike for better residuals on TV ads, Dec. 19, 1978 - Feb. 7, 1979.
1980: SAG Theatrical Strike. President William Schallert heads July 21-Oct. 23 walkout to establish contract terms for Pay-TV and video cassette production.
1983: SAG’s 50th Anniversary celebrated with a TV special and Golden Gala Ball in Hollywood, and a Moving Picture Ball in New York.
1984: SAG creates additional low-budget motion picture agreement, giving advantages to productions that hire more women, minorities, seniors, and disabled performers.
1985: Screen Actors Guild Foundation established.
1987: Residual payments hit total of one billion dollar mark. • Guild wins increase in minimum session fees, and extra pay for additional voices.
1988: SAG/AFTRA TV Commercials Strike, March 21-April 15, achieves payment for cable use. • SAG signs contract for the first U.S. produced Spanish language dramatic TV series.
1989: New speed record in SAG/AFTRA Theatrical/TV negotiations, consisting of just three days of talks. • Gains include 12.5% increase in minimum wages & certain residuals over 3 years; new minimum salary for “Top of the Show” performers; and increase in residuals for free TV shows released to basic cable.
1991: SAG wins new Commercials contract with increase in cable TV payments.
1993: first Interactive contract, with over 100 multimedia productions signed. • SAG Film/TV residuals double in six years, topping $2 billion. • Commercial residuals total another $2 billion. • SAG pensions top $1 billion.
1995: The First Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® debuts on NBC. • George Burns becomes first to receive his SAG Life Achievement Award on TV.
1996: SAG website launched in December.
1998: Screen Actors Guild Awards moves from NBC to TNT.
2002: Guild announces a proposed agreement with the Association of Talent Agents (ATA) and the National Association of Talent Representatives (NATR). • Global Rule 1, requiring members “to ensure that a producer is a SAG signatory and to get a SAG contract wherever they work in order to get the protections of SAG’s agreements, even when working outside of the United States” becomes effective
2005: First “Mobisodes” appear on cell phone screens in February. • Apple’s video iPod debuts and the SAG, AFTRA, DGA and WGA East and west issue a statement inviting a “dialogue that ensures that our members are properly compensated for this exploitation of their work.”
2006: SAG negotiates first “mobisode” agreement for the series Lost. TBS joins TNT to simulcast the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
2007: iActor online casting directory debuts on Guild Website.