Special Edition 2019

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Page 102 of 104

S AG A F T R A .O R G 2 0 1 9 102 2 5 TH SAG AWA R DS S P E C I A L there in 1931 and, in the summer of 1933, he joined Screen Actors Guild as member No. 28. Fay Wray, already famous for her damsel-in- distress role in Universal's King Kong, which was released six months earlier, was recruited to Guild membership in November 1933, while working on Stage 12 in Madame Spy. The inaugural Screen Actors Guild Awards were, in fact, only the first televised SAG Awards, because from 1935–37, the union gave gender-neutral monthly awards voted on by members and announced in its monthly member publication, The Screen Guilds' Magazine. The magazine was produced jointly with Screen Writers Guild, and its members voted monthly on the best screenplays until the Writers Guild withdrew from the publication after the June 1936 issue. The title became The Screen Guild Magazine. Screen Actors Guild may also have originated the "supporting" category, first announced in the July 1936 magazine, eight months before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would present its first Oscar for best supporting actor and actress. Starting with the October 1936 issue, each cover bore the photo of a winner with one exception: Janet Gaynor. Her "best performance" starring role in A Star Is Born did not grace the cover of the May 1937 issue for an exciting reason: That month the Guild won recognition and its first contract from the producers, so instead of Gaynor, the cover featured SAG president Robert Montgomery. A Star Is Born has been remade three times since then, with Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and, most recently, Lady Gaga. When the final monthly Screen Actors Guild award was announced in the November 1937 magazine, plans were revealed to switch to annual awards. Instead, more than 57 years would pass before annual Screen Actors Guild awards were realized. The two final 1930s award recipients were Paul Muni, starring in The Life of Emile Zola as the famous 19th century French author, and Mischa Auer for his supporting comic turn in 100 Men and a Girl with young singing star Deanna Durbin. Dance Team: Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire perform the "Waltz in Swing Time" number from the RKO musical comedy Swing Time. Astaire-Rogers won as team for Best Performance by a Star in October 1936 and made The Screen Guild Magazine cover the following month.

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