Ned Vaughn

Ned Vaughn
Born (1964-11-20) November 20, 1964
Huntsville, Alabama
Residence Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Adelaide (m. 1997)
Children 5

Ned Vaughn (born November 20, 1964) is an American film and television actor who served as vice president of the Screen Actors Guild prior to becoming the founding executive vice president of SAG-AFTRA. He resigned that position on August 21, 2013, when he announced he would run as a Republican candidate for California's 66th State Assembly district, representing Los Angeles County's South Bay region.[1]

Early life and education

Ned Vaughn was raised in Huntsville, Alabama with his sister Anna by their parents, Helen and Ed Vaughn. Vaughn's father was a news anchor and reporter for Huntsville's CBS Television affiliate (WHNT-TV) before starting his career as a civilian public affairs officer for the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, which included work on Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as Star Wars. Ned's mother, Helen, is an active professional artist whose early works were described as “celebrations of the many aspects of womanhood” and focusing on “the psychological truth of being female in today's society.”

At age 10, Vaughn performed his first acting role in a community theater production of the musical Oliver!, staged in the Von Braun Center's 2000-seat concert hall. Vaughn continued acting as he attended Lee High School and performed in several productions while attending Birmingham-Southern College. It was there that Vaughn decided to pursue acting as a career. He drove to New York with just $600 and initially stayed with a family acquaintance, making the commute to New York City from Peekskill.

While taking classes at HB Studio in Greenwich Village, Vaughn made ends meet by working as a doorman at New York's Wellington Hotel. Vaughn has described this as his favorite non-acting job. Standing in front of the hotel door in Midtown Manhattan, seeing people from all walks of life, Vaughn has said he got a crash course in human nature.

This included getting his first taste of the law enforcement roles that would later figure in his acting career, when Vaughn helped stop pickpockets who were targeting hotels in the area. On multiple occasions, he and watchful co-workers stopped crimes in progress by figuratively wrestling the perpetrators out of the premises and onto the street.

Acting career

When Vaughn wasn't pounding the pavement as a doorman, he was pounding the pavement trying to find work as an actor. Success came early: in January, 1986, Vaughn booked his first professional job from his first audition. That Pepsi commercial, a Miami Vice-themed spot starring Don Johnson and Glenn Frey and directed by Ridley Scott, premiered during the 1986 Grammy Awards telecast. However,Vaughn's role did not appear in the final cut. Over the remainder of 1986, Vaughn was cast in more commercials and performed in the HB Playwrights Foundation production of K on K by Franz Kafka.

In February, 1987, Vaughn was cast in his first starring film role in The Rescue, which also starred Kevin Dillon and featured James Cromwell. After filming was completed in New Zealand and Hong Kong, Vaughn moved to Los Angeles.

Vaughn's acting career quickly took off and in 1989, he was cast as Seaman Beaumont of the USS Dallas in the blockbuster The Hunt for Red October. The same year, Vaughn joined the ABC television series China Beach, playing the role of Corporal Jeff Hyers. Throughout his career, Vaughn has gravitated toward characters who serve in the military (24, The Tuskegee Airmen, JAG, NCIS), law enforcement (Heroes, Frost/Nixon), politics (The Unit), and even Starfleet (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

In 1995, Vaughn was honored as a member of the cast of Apollo 13, which received that year's Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. In 1998, Vaughn performed in Hellcab at the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin, Ireland during the Dublin Theatre Festival.

In addition to his ongoing film work, Vaughn has appeared in a wide variety of television programs, with nearly one hundred episodes to his credit. In 2011, Vaughn provided the face and voice of LAPD Captain Gordon Leary in the successful video game L.A. Noire, which was the first video game to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Screen Actors Guild / SAG-AFTRA leadership

In 2008, Vaughn emerged as the public voice of Unite for Strength, the group he co-founded to elect leaders to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) board of directors on a platform of merging with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Vaughn was elected to the SAG board in 2008 and quickly rose to become SAG 1st Vice President in 2010. During his tenure, Vaughn focused on uniting SAG and AFTRA, serving as both a key architect of the merger and a leading spokesman for the effort.

In January, 2012, it was announced that a merger referendum would be presented to members of both unions. Merger opponents and SAG board members Martin Sheen and Ed Harris, along with former SAG president Ed Asner, filed a federal lawsuit to block the referendum, but the vote went forward. When their case was voluntarily dismissed, Vaughn commented, "Dropping this frivolous lawsuit is the first good decision the plaintiffs have made."[2]

On March 30, 2012, the merger passed overwhelmingly, with 86% of AFTRA members and 82% of SAG members voting to create SAG-AFTRA, the largest union representing performers in the entertainment and media industries. Vaughn was named the organization's founding executive vice president, serving as the second-ranking and only Republican national officer of the 160,000-member organization.


On August 21, 2013, Vaughn announced he would run as a Republican candidate for California's 66th State Assembly district, representing Los Angeles County's South Bay region. On the same day, he resigned his position as SAG-AFTRA executive vice president in order to focus on his Assembly campaign. SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard remarked, "We may not have the same views on politics, but Ned is one of the finest leaders I've ever known. His decision to run for public office can only be a good thing for California.”[1]

Vaughn's decision to run was also praised by U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip, Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), of Bakersfield, who said, “Ned Vaughn is the type of leader California needs: a proven problem-solver and an effective communicator who can give voice to millions of Californians who are tired of seeing our state fall behind.”[3]

On October 16, 2013 Ned Vaughn announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy for the 66th State Assembly District. In the November 2014 General Election, Republican David Hadley defeated incumbent Albert Muratsuchi in California's 66th State Assembly district.

Personal life

Vaughn married his wife, Adelaide, in 1997. They are the parents of five children and live in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. In announcing his State Assembly campaign, Vaughn cited his children's future as a primary reason for his entry into public service.[3]

Filmography (partial)


  1. 1 2 Bond, Paul (August 21, 2013) "No. 2 Officer of SAG-AFTRA Resigns to Run for State Assembly as a Republican; however he later dropped out of the race citing personal reasons." The Hollywood Reporter
  2. Handel, Jonathan (May 16, 2012) "SAG-AFTRA Merger Lawsuit to be Dropped" The Hollywood Reporter
  3. 1 2 Verrier, Richard (August 21, 2013) "Ned Vaughn resigns from SAG-AFTRA to run as Republican for Assembly" The Los Angeles Times

External links

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