Actors' Equity Association is pleased to announce the presentation of the Lucy Jordan Recognition Award for 2003 to Equity Councilor Joseph Ruskin.
The award is given annually by the Western Regional Stage Managers Committee to recognize any individual from the Western Region who has best exemplified the spirit of Lucy Jordan during the previous year. Recipients of the award have demonstrated that they have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their relationship to the membership of Actors' Equity.
Joseph Ruskin has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American actor since he joined Equity in 1952. He served as Western Regional Vice President for many years and as a Councilor for many more, always articulating the needs and rights of the Actor with intelligence and passion. Mr. Ruskin, along with Madeleine Fallon, wrote the National Representation Plan for Actors' Equity that the organization now uses. He also served on the SAG Board for many years and is currently a trustee with SAG Pension and Welfare.
A theatre major at Carnegie Tech, Mr. Ruskin made his professional stage debut at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. After extensive summer stock and three years at the Rochester Arena Theatre in Rochester, New York, he headed to New York City, where he found work on and off-Broadway and in television. With a starring role in Naked City, he decided Hollywood was the place to be, and once there he found steady work, leaving only occasionally to perform at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Ruskin's work in film and television spans six decades and includes notable guest appearances on such TV staples as Gunsmoke, The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, Mr. Ed, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, The Bionic Woman, Charlie's Angels, Knight Rider, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Murder, She Wrote, L.A. Law, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, ER, Brooklyn South, Star Trek: Voyager, Alias, That's My Bush, and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as numerous film roles including Hell Bent for Leather, Diary of a Madman, The Magnificent Seven, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, Robin and the Seven Hoods, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Prizzi's Honor, Indecent Proposal, The Last Don, Star Trek: Insurrection, and The Scorpion King.
Lucy Finney Jordan began her career as a ballerina and danced as a musical chorus performer. She met Glenn Jordan, a Stage Manager, and fell in love, becoming a wife and mother. Later, when Glenn became a producer, she wore the hat of Associate Producer for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. When Glenn passed away, she knew she still needed the theatre in her life, and applied and was accepted for the position of Field Representative for the Western Region of AEA.
Lucy Jordan was a friend, advisor, and confidante to principals, chorus and stage managers alike. Whether at auditions, first rehearsals, opening nights or membership meetings, her office was open to all; and her home phone number was given to, and used by, many who needed to resolve an emergency or seek an opinion. For many people in the Western Region, Lucy Jordan was the face of the union. Ms. Jordan died on May 15, 1992 and this award in her honor was created that same year.