Mike Hodge Dies At 70: SAG-AFTRA President & Colleagues Pay Tribute To ‘Law & Order’ Actor & Unionist
Mike Hodge passed away at the age of 70 over the weekend, shocking friends and colleagues at the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
According to Variety, the actor, who was recently re-elected as the president of the SAG-AFTRA New York Chapter, died on the evening of Saturday, September 9, for reasons yet to be revealed to the public.
News of Hodge’s death emerged after SAG-AFTRA New York Chapter Vice-President Rebecca Damon announced his demise on her Facebook account, remembering the actor as a “powerful unionist, a remarkable leader,” and “a great friend.”
“[Mike Hodge] led our local through several challenging years and into the momentous merger. He built on that powerful foundation to bring cohesion and stability to our local and helped build the industry economy on which New York members’ careers now thrive,” Damon wrote.
“His vision and leadership made us stronger and justifiably prouder.”
She also remembered Mike as “a father figure and a big brother” for herself and for many of his close friends at the union, explaining further that she will give more information about his death “as soon as that is appropriate” following necessary communication with his family.
Hodge, whose career history included recurring roles on Law & Order and Fringe, had won a seat at the SAG national board in 2001, and was chosen as the president of the group’s New York chapter 10 years thereafter, Variety reported.
SAG-AFTRA mourns the passing of New York President Mike Hodge, an accomplished actor and stalwart unionist. Link: https://t.co/vUYIYxy1gY pic.twitter.com/7YKcNelNPr
— SAG-AFTRA NEWS (@sagaftranews) September 11, 2017
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris released a statement to the organization’s board members to confirm the death of their colleague and friend.
“It is with a heavy heart that I tell you of the sudden and unexpected passing of our dear friend and much beloved colleague Mike Hodge,” she stated, before recalling all the actor’s legacies while working with them.
“Mike had a deep love for the work we do as performers and enjoyed every character he brought to life on stage, television or film. We all relied on his kindness and his vibrant spirit to help guide us as we focused on the union and its members.”
Hodge’s friends took to social media to express their sadness and shock at the passing of a great actor and an even better unionist.
Heavy heart tonight. Devastated by the sudden passing of my friend Mike Hodge. Voice of God & heart of an angel. RIP https://t.co/SbWfIbTWYw
— Woody Schultz #BlackLivesMatter (@UGottaWoody) September 11, 2017
Wow. Just heard @SAGAFTRANY pres Mike Hodge passed away. Such a great, influential man. Always looking out for every 1 of us. A real loss.
— Mike McNulty (@MrMikeJMc) September 11, 2017
I'm in shock! Our wonderful, warm and recently re-elected President of NY SAG-AFTRA, Mike Hodge, has died suddenly. So very sad. R.I.P. Mike
— Joanne Dorian (@JoanneDorian1) September 11, 2017
No word on Mike Hodge’s cause of death was included in any of the statements released so far aside from Damon’s description of the event being “sudden” and “unexpected.”
In fact, the actor’s last post on Twitter revealed that he was on his way to join the Labor Day Parade, proving that he was still able-bodied prior to his death.
On my way to 44th & Ave of Americas for the Central Labir Council annual Labor Day Parade. #Laborworks. #celebrateLabor
— Mike Hodge (@mikehodgeny) September 9, 2017
According to a report from Deadline, Hodge had just finished filming his upcoming movie Humor Me, directed by Sam Hoffman, before his untimely demise.
He was born in McComas, West Virginia, on February 24, 1947, and attended West Virginia University as part of the School of Journalism. After earning his degree in Journalism, he worked for the Washington Post and continued to pursue his love for theater at the DC Black Repertory Theater.
Hodge’s resume included Broadway gigs such as Fences and A Few Good Men. He also appeared in a number of TV shows such as the Blindspot, Blue Bloods, White Collar, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and many others.
Stay tuned for more updates on Mike Hodge’s death.
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[Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]