When the first Screen Actors Guild Awards® were presented on March 8, 1995, the ceremony opened with a speech by Angela Lansbury that gave the audience a little history of her as a performer: "I've been Elizabeth Taylor's sister, Spencer Tracy's mistress, Elvis' mother and a singing teapot." 

Thus began a tradition of the Screen Actors Guild Awards® opening with a distinguished actor telling the audience a bit about their perceptions of their craft or some brief biographical anecdote. For the SAG Awards®, the first eight years of that tradition was carried on by a single actor each year, with Michael Keaton, Dennis Hopper, John Lithgow, Kathy Bates, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods and Sir Ian McKellen following in Lansbury's footsteps.

For the 9th Annual SAG Awards®, a new twist on the tradition was incorporated. By having actors tell shorter stories, it would allow room for actors of all ages and backgrounds to tell tales with many different emotional tones. 

Since the 9th SAG Awards® on March 9, 2003, 80 actors have told their stories, typically closing with their name and the signature line, "I am an actor."


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