Gil Rogers, Actors’ Equity Association councilor emeritus, director and actor who appeared in hundreds of stage productions during his lifetime passed away March 2, 2021, at age 87 at home in Encinitas, California.

Rogers was born as John Veach Rogers Jr. on February 4, 1934 in Lexington, Kentucky. He began performing onstage at a young age in Lexington Children's Theatre, and he caught the acting bug. He attended Harvard after high school, but there was no drama department at the time, so he transferred to Transylvania University. The summer before his senior year, in 1955, he earned his Equity Card. Other than a stint in the US Army, Rogers never stopped working onstage. 

Rogers first joined council in 1981 as an Eastern principal councilor and was bestowed the honor of Councilor Emeritus in 2016.

Gil Rogers

He served on many committees over the years, most notably Off-Off-Broadway, which he chaired for several years. Other committees included Off-Broadway, the Equity News Advisory Committee and the Taping/99 Seat Task Force. He also served on the Off-Broadway negotiating team. He was first named emeritus councilor in 2016. He also volunteered with and was a board member emeritus for the Actors Federal Credit Union.

“Gil lived and breathed theatre,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “Countless audiences all across the country benefited from his work, and Equity benefited from his devotion to our union.” 

Tall with a strong presence, Rogers’s leading roles included Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. On Broadway he appeared in The Great White Hope, The Corn Is Green and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He also did film, commercial and television work, including regular roles on All My Children and Guiding Light.

“Please be a part of the process,” Rogers wrote in his candidate statement for his 2001 reelection. “Whether voting, serving as deputy, serving on committees or running for council, each of us can add to the effectiveness of Actors’ Equity. Ask questions; get involved. It will make us all stronger.” 
Rogers was predeceased by his wife, Equity member Margaret Hall. He is survived by his daughter Amanda Rogers, son-in-law Andrew Marr and grandchildren Michael and Ella Mahoney.