Actress and union leader Martha Greenhouse died Jan. 5, SAG-AFTRA announced. She was 91.
Greenhouse’s TV and film credits included THE EDGE OF NIGHT, RYAN'S HOPE, THE DOCTORS AND THE NURSES, LAW & ORDER, The Stepford Wives and the original production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She appeared in many plays on and off Broadway, including "Summer Brave," "Dear Me," and Jose Quintero’s "Our Town."
In 1975 she played Mrs. Huber on RYAN'S HOPE, a tenant in a building with no heat or hot water than Frank Ryan helps.
Greenhouse joined AFRA (the radio-only predecessor of AFTRA) in 1941 and the Screen Actors Guild in 1955 and became deeply involved in union activities. Highlights of her service include five terms as the president of AFTRA’s New York Local, from 1977-1982, and two terms on SAG’s National Board, from 1981-1987.
More recently she served as an AFTRA Foundation board member and was president of the AFTRA Heller Memorial Foundation for more than a decade. She also served on the board of the N.Y. Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and was an AFTRA representative to the Associated Actors and Artistes of America.
Greenhouse remained active on the national and local AFTRA boards until 2005 and 2010 respectively, and received practically every award the union had to offer: the Founder’s Award, the N.Y. Local’s Ken Harvey Award and the George Heller Gold Card, the highest honor given by national AFTRA for service to the union.
“During her more than 40 years of board service, Martha helped lead the New York Local of AFTRA through turbulent times, and the union came out stronger due to her hard work, talent and dedication,” said SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon. “She was an inspiration not only to me but to the entire leadership. Her service to the union should be held up as an example to everyone who will walk in her footsteps.”