Winter 2006

George Sidney

Member, 1939-2002

“It was a mandate from the membership to me, a demand saying ‘build the theater,’” said former Screen Directors Guild and DGA President George Sidney of his early years in office in the 1950s. “They didn’t want to know how to build it, or where to build it, or why to build it, or how to pay for it. They just gave me this order to build it.” And with the help of National Executive Secretary Joe Youngerman, Sidney and the other Guild leaders put aside some initiation money and bought a piece of land at 7950 Sunset Blvd. that would eventually become the Guild’s first headquarters. But the 1950s were a time of financial turmoil: “We were united, but we were broke,” according to Sidney, an honorary life member who also won the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for service to the Guild and the Presidents Award for his terms as president with the SDG (1951-1959) and DGA (1961-1967). “In those days when we would have a board of directors meeting, everybody paid for their coffee or tea or food.” Sidney was also instrumental in the construction of the DGA’s current headquarters as well as in acquiring the building that houses the New York office.


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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