Late Actor and Union Activist Will Be Awarded Patrick Quinn Award Posthumously

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14 Jul 2014

Veteran union activist Joseph Ruskin has posthumously received the 2014 Patrick Quinn Award for Distinguished Service to Actors presented by the Actors' Equity Foundation.



Ruskin, who joined Equity in 1952, served on the Council from 1979 until his death Dec. 28, 2013, at the age of 89.

The award will be presented in Los Angeles to his wife, Barbara Ruskin, at the Equity Council meeting July 15.

The Patrick Quinn Award for Distinguished Service to Actors was established in 2007. Quinn, a former president of Equity (2000-06), died Sept. 24, 2006, and left a portion of his estate to establish an award to be given to "a person who has worked tirelessly for the betterment of actors." The award consists of a check and a Lalique crystal Golden Retriever.

Members of the award selection committee are Martin Casella, Quinn’s longtime partner; Christopher Quinn, his nephew; Councillors Judy Rice, Madeleine Fallon and Doug Carfrae; and Anne Fortuno, Quinn’s assistant.

Previous recipients include Jeanna Belkin, Alan Eisenberg and Tom Viola.

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Joseph Ruskin began his Equity service in 1964 on the Western Advisory Board (now the Western Regional Board), for which he later was elected Chairman. In 1976, he was elected to the first of several terms as Western Regional Vice President. He also was on the board of the California Confederation of the Arts and the California Theatre Council. He continued as Western Regional Vice President until 1991 when he was elected to Council.

Ruskin served on scores of Western committees and served as deputy under many Equity contracts. He also helped to formulate Equity’s National Representation Plan, which became effective in 1992 and helped to decentralize the union. An equal opportunity volunteer, he also had served on the SAG and AFTRA Boards.

Although he had more than 120 television credits and appeared in 25 films, Ruskin began and ended his career on the stage. His first professional appearances were at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Rochester Arena Stage, and his last performance was in The Crucible as a member of the Antaeus Company of Los Angeles.