Valerie Harper, who was at the center of the Screen Actors Guild’s controversial election last fall, will not seek re-election to SAG’s national board.
Harper said the decision stems from her commitment to a national tour through next April with “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” Harper has starred in the comedy, currently at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, since last fall on Broadway.
“It would be irresponsible to run when I wouldn’t be able to attend the key meetings,” she said outside Monday’s national board meeting. “It’s time for me to step aside.”
Harper lost the SAG presidency last fall to Melissa Gilbert by 1,588 votes, then led a successful challenge to overturn the results due to rule violations by SAG staff and Sequoia Voting Systems.
Gilbert easily won the rerun election in March. But Harper’s campaign push against easing the ownership rules in SAG’s master franchise agreement with agents was a major factor leading to SAG members voting down the revamp in April.
Harper, a four-time Emmy winner, began serving on the board in fall 2000, when she led all 74 candidates for the 25 spots for Hollywood reps. She recently penned an autobiography, “Today I’m a Ma’am: And Other Musings on Life, Beauty and Growing Older,” and is developing a board game called TIVY to help children improve their math skills.
SAG is shrinking its board this fall from 107 to 72 seats, with all slots open except president, secretary and treasurer. Deadline for filing is July 24.