Kenneth Joseph "Ken" Howard Jr. (March 28, 1944 – March 23, 2016) was an American actor, best known for his roles as Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and as basketball coach and former Chicago Bulls player Ken Reeves in the television show The White Shadow (1978–1981). Howard won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1970 for his performance in Child's Play, and later won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his work in Grey Gardens (2009).
Howard was elected president of the actors' union, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), in September 2009 and reelected to a second term, in September 2011. He was the last president of the Screen Actors Guild and the first president of the newly formed union, SAG-AFTRA, after the Screen Actors Guild and another union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), voted to merge in 2012. He was reelected in 2015.
Actors' union SAG-AFTRA announced his death on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, five days before his 72nd birthday, but gave no cause. Executive Director David White said: "Ken was a remarkable leader and his powerful vision for this union was a source of inspiration for all of us."
George Clooney, his co-star of the 2007 legal thriller Michael Clayton (film), remembered having met him for the first time, in 1983 at 20th Century Fox, as a fan of The White Shadow.
Linda Fetters Howard, stuntwoman and his wife from 1992 to 2016, survives him, along with three of his adult stepchildren. His previous wives include writer Margo Howard; (m. 1977–1991), and American actress Louise Sorel (m. 1973–1975).