Gilbert Cates, the stage, film and TV producer and director and the producing director of the Geffen Playhouse, has died at age 77. Gates was a two-time president of the Directors Guild of America and has served as secretary-treasurer since 1997. He was the founding dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television from 1990-98. For many years, Cates produced the TV broadcast of the Academy Awards. TMZ is reporting that Cates was found dead last night in a UCLA parking structure.
* Statement from Geffen Playhouse:
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share that Gil Cates, founder and Producing Director of the Geffen Playhouse died on Monday, Oct 31 at age 77.
Gil was many things to many people throughout the entertainment industry – to the Oscars, one their longest running producers; to the DGA, their longtime president and chief negotiator; to UCLA, the founder of their school of Theater, Film and Television; and to the Geffen Playhouse, he was our founder, our leader and our heart.
“Gil has always referred to the staff of the Geffen Playhouse as his second family” said Geffen Playhouse Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. “And it is as a family that we mourn this tremendous loss. Gil built this theater and he will forever be at the center of it – we honor his life by continuing the fulfillment of his dream. As my dear friend Gil would no doubt say ‘onward and upward with the arts.’”
The theater has no further information in regards to memorial or burial services at this time.
Charles McNulty's lead in the L.A. Times:
Los Angeles has lost one of its most unrelenting champions of theater.
Cropped UCLA photo