Actors’ Equity Association

Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) was formed in 1913. The 13th Shepherd of The Lambs, William Courtleigh, Sr., is credited with naming the new union. Of the 21 original Council members of Equity, 20 were Lambs. The three top officers elected were Lambs; Francis Wilson (President 1913-1920), Henry Miller (VP) and Bruce McRae (Corresponding Secretary). About the same time, a group formed to deal with growing concern of unionism in theater, calling themselves the Producing Managers’ Association PMA). Of the 40 or so members of the PMA, 21 were Lambs. The Actors strike of 1919 seriously divided The Lambs, with members who belonged to both AEA and PMA battling it out. The Lambs became a hotbed of union activity known as “Local One.” Augustus Thomas, Lambs’ council member, is credited with bringing together the two warring sides to end the strike. Eight Lambs who served as presidents of Equity include Wilson, John Emerson (1920-1928), Ralph Morgan (1924), Frank Gilmore (1928-1937), Arthur Byron (1938-1940), Bert Lytell (1940-1964), Clarence Derwent (1946-1952), and Ralph Bellamy (1952-1964).

Additionally Lambs who served as Executive Directors include Frank Gilmore (1918-1928), Paul Dullzell (1928-1948), and Willard Swire (Acting Exec 1980-1981).