×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Actor collapses, dies after picketing for SAG

Embry passes away after Playstation protest, kids get into strike

The four-month strike by union actors took a tragic turn over the weekend as a 38-year-old actor died after collapsing on a picket line in Hollywood.

Strike captains for the Screen Actors Guild said William Ray Embry fell down on Saturday morning during a Sunset Boulevard demonstration against a non-union shoot for Sony Playstation. Embry remained conscious and was able to give a thumbs-up signal as he was being taken into an ambulance by paramedics.

SAG members said Embry, a union member and Hollywood resident, was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. A rep for the medical center said Embry passed away that evening.

“It really is a shame,” said SAG strike captain Vince Melocchi, who remained at the medical center throughout the day and evening. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about him — how he always had a smile and was very generous and giving.”

Funeral services for Embry are pending.

SAG president William Daniels said: “I’m terribly saddened by something like this happening during a strike action. We will certainly get in touch with his family and express our profound regrets and sorrow.”

More than 100 actors picketed at the Sony shoot and were joined on the line by Michael J. Fox, Alexandra Paul and Estelle Getty.

Over 100 juvenile members of SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists also picketed for two hours Saturday at a Hollywood McDonald’s including members of the cats of “The Hughleys” and “Malcolm in the Middle.” It was the first such event during the strike specifically for children who are union members.

“The juvenile performers are clearly feeling the impact of the strike since one year in their career is like 10 in mine,” said strike captain Tisza Major. “The picket was very effective because we saw only four customers cross the line.”

SAG also drew about 200 people Friday to a meeting for non-union performers at the Writers Guild of America West headquarters in Los Angeles. Thesp Rob Schneider spoke at the event, designed to answer questions and concerns by non-union actors.

Union leaders plan to continue their strategy this week of increasing pressure on advertisers prior to the Sept. 13 resumption of bargaining by targeting corporations that have shot non-union spots. General Motors, which has been picketed at its Detroit facilities for the past two weeks, will be the target of daily demonstrations this week.

SAG and AFTRA will picket at the Hamtramck assembly plant today, the Pontiac facility on Tuesday and the Renaissance Center corporate headquarters on Wednesday. “We are going to hit all 14 GM plants in this area,” strike captain Michael Brennan promised.

On Saturday, about 70 SAG members picketed at a GM spare parts plant in Portland, Ore., following a meeting of SAG branch leaders. Daniels, who chaired the meeting, participated in the picketing and a subsequent leafleting at a GM dealer. Daniels also said that the meeting was held to inform branch leaders of the current state of the strike and the prospects for a settlement in the upcoming negotiations Sept. 13.

During the past week, demonstrations have taken place at Hamtramck, Renaissance Center and the Orion plant at Port Huron. Brennan said the pickets have sharply reduced production by holding down deliveries from drivers who refuse to cross union lines, but GM rep Peg Holmes has insisted that the demonstrators have not affected operations.

In New York, supporters plan to continue targeting GM regional headquarters in Manhattan. Strike leaders also will meet tonight with Paul Newman’s recently formed committee of high-profile members to plan a Sept. 7 rally and other events prior to the resumption of negotiations.

Union supporters staged a silent demonstration Friday at CBS’ Manhattan studios in order to protest what they believe is a lack of coverage of the work stoppage. “What ticks people off is how the media have not taken the strike more seriously, considering how much money is involved,” strike captain Paul Christie said.

In San Francisco, a downtown rally featuring Elliot Gould drew more than 200 supporters on Friday.

More Scene

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]

  • NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11:

    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content