Winter 2006

Sheldon Leonard

Member, 1952-1997

"In talking about the Directors Guild of America, the significant word is ‘Guild.’ We are not only concerned about wages, hours and working conditions, but we are also concerned about the creative aspects of our work. We religiously protect the director’s right to his first cut, the director’s right to involvement in casting and in revisions, and we therefore do the best we can to maintain the standards of our trade.” Leonard learned these lessons as a director, writer, actor and producer who remained devoted to Guild service throughout much of his 60-year career in Hollywood. He was awarded the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for service and was named an honorary life member. When Leonard was DGA secretary-treasurer, then-President Gene Reynolds called him a treasure: “because he’s the salt of the earth, because he’s wise, courageous, generous, reliable, straight as hell, entertaining and profoundly devoted to our cause.”


The Legends column began as part of the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the DGA in 2006 to profile Guild members who have made outstanding contributions to their Guild in service and leadership.

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