Mike Hodge, ‘Law & Order’ Actor and SAG-AFTRA New York Local President, Dies at 70

Mike Hodge dead
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Mike Hodge, the president of the SAG-AFTRA New York local, died on Saturday night. He was 70.

Hodge was a longtime union activist and was re-elected last month as president of the local chapter. Rebecca Damon, first VP of the New York local, made the announcement Sunday night on her Facebook page, writing:

Mike Hodge was a powerful unionist, a remarkable leader, and more than anything, a great friend, colleague, and mentor. He led our local through several challenging years and into the momentous merger. He built on that powerful foundation to bring cohesion and stability to our local and helped build the industry economy on which New York members’ careers now thrive. His vision and leadership made us stronger and justifiably prouder. Alongside the pain of losing Mike, I urge us all to remember his extraordinary achievements on behalf of SAG-AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild before it.”

Hodge first won a SAG national board seat in 2001 and was elected New York division president in 2010. Hodge’s acting included recurring work on “Law & Order” and “Fringe,”  as well as film, commercial, and stage work, including four Broadway shows including “Fences” and “A Few Good Men.” He was also an audiobook narrator, having narrated books by Steve Harvey and Mitch Albom.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a message to board members: “It is with a heavy heart that I tell you of the sudden and unexpected passing of our dear friend and much beloved colleague Mike Hodge,” she wrote to the union’s leaders yesterday evening. “Mike was an incredible advocate for SAG-AFTRA members since he first joined SAG’s New York board back in 2001. Through nearly 16 years of service, we came to know his wit, his generous nature and his insight. Mike had a deep love for the work we do as performers and enjoyed every character he brought to life on stage, television or film. We all relied on his kindness and his vibrant spirit to help guide us as we focused on the union and its members.”

He became involved with union leadership in the aftermath of the 2000 SAG-AFTRA commercials strike. He was active in several union committees and also served as a member of the New York State AFL-CIO Executive Council, the City Labor Council and as a trustee to the Industry Advancement Cooperative Fund.

“It is painful to think that the gentle giant whom we so admired and loved is no more, but I personally take comfort in the thought that, as Mike would say, we will see each other again. Please send your thoughts and prayers to his family during this difficult time,” Carteris concluded. “We will provide an address for condolences shortly and I will share information on memorial services and arrangements as soon as that is available.”

Hodge was a West Virginia native. He’s survived by his mother Roberta Hodge Johnson of Mint Hill, N.C.; brother, Joseph Hodge of Dayton, Ohio; and sisters, Karen Hodge Thomas of Mint Hill, N.C. and Vicki Hodge Lynch of Waxhaw, N.C.

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  1. Eleanor Earl says:

    Mike, I can’t believe you’ve left us. You were such a gentle giant with an awesome sense of humor and gift for leadership. Thank you for being a great mentor and friend. Thank you for all the amazing stories and excellent advice about life you shared. Thank you for being an unwavering optimist. Your strong faith, infectious laugh and limitless kindness will live on…

    Love,

    Elly

  2. shemitch says:

    He will be missed immensely.

  3. Pete Antico says:

    May the Divine beings on the Celestial Court guide and protect his blessed soul to its rightful place next to the Creator in the cosmos…

  4. ChazD says:

    Mike was a dear friend, a colleague and a great leader in our profession

    • Michael Sullivan says:

      My heart is broken and the pieces are heavy with grief. Mike was my dear friend who taught me new ways to love myself and others. He cared so passionately about his beloved union and the notion of people uniting in all ways. I’m not sure how I’ll go forward without the balm of his voice and the boom of his laugh but I’m grateful for the time we had together.

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