SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard dies at 71

Ken Howard, president of SAG-AFTRA, died on Wednesday at 71.

The actor, who was known for his roles as a high school basketball coach on "The White Shadow" and more recently as the kooky CEO of a cable company on "30 Rock," died at his home near Los Angeles. A SAG-AFTRA statement on the actor's passing did not mention the cause of death.

The guild's acting president Gabrielle Carteris said in the statement, "Ken was an inspirational leader and it is an incredible loss for SAG-AFTRA, for his family and for everyone who knew him. He was a light that never dimmed and was completely devoted to the membership. He led us through tumultuous times and set our union on a steady course of excellence. We will be forever in his debt."

Howard was a Tony and Emmy Award winner. He won an Emmy in 2009 for best supporting actor for his role as Phelan Beale in the HBO TV movie "Grey Gardens." He received a Tony in 1970 for his part as a phys-ed teacher at a Catholic boarding school for boys in Robert Marasco's long-running thriller "Child's Play."

Howard was also seen on the big and small screens in his roles on "Dynasty," "The Colbys," "Crossing Jordan" and more recently "Joy" and "The Wedding Ringer."

Stars like Jon Cryer and Ike Barinholtz paid tribute to the late actor on Twitter.