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Founder

Gilbert
Cates

Gilbert Cates is recognized as a leader in television, film and theater. Currently presiding as the Producing Director of the Geffen Playhouse, he is dedicated to enriching the Los Angeles theatrical spectrum by presenting the finest in contemporary and classical theater. In November 1996, Cates was the recipient of the Jimmy Dolittle Award for Outstanding Contribution to Los Angeles Theater. He received the 1999 Ovation Award for best play for Collected Stories, starring Linda Lavin and Samantha Mathis, which he directed at the Geffen. The accolades for Cates expand into other areas of the entertainment industry. He produced and directed the 1970 film version of the Broadway hit I Never Sang for My Father, starring Melvyn Douglas, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons. The movie earned three Academy Award nominations. Cates also directed Joanne Woodward and Sylvia Sidney in the 1973 film Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, which received two Oscar nominations. Other film directing credits include: The Promise, One Summer Love, The Last Married Couple in America, Oh! God Book II and Backfire. He further distinguished himself as director and/or producer of a number of television dramatic specials. These include NBC’s 1972 Emmy Award-winning To all My Friends on Shore, starring Bill Cosby, ABC’s 1974 The Affair starring Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, NBC’s 1975 After the Fall starring Faye Dunaway and Christopher Plummer. Other credits include: Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye, The Kid from Nowhere, County Gold, Faerie Tale Theater’s Rapunzel and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hobson’s Choice, Burning Rage, Consenting Adults, Fatal Judgment, Do You Know the Muffin Man, Call Me Anna, Absolute Strangers, In My Daughter’s Name, and Tom Clancy’s Netforce (Cates directed James Agee’s A Death in the Family for Masterpiece Theater’s American Collection of PBS and Donald Margulies’ Collected Stories for PBS Hollywood Presents). In September 2002, he directed David Eldridge’s Under the Blue Sky for The Geffen Playhouse and directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 2005, the inaugural production in the newly-renovated Geffen Playhouse. In February 2007 he directed Jeffrey Hatcher’s A Picasso in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. He served two terms as President of the Directors Guild of America from 1983 to 1987. In 1989, he received the Guild’s Robert B. Aldrich Award for extraordinary service and, in 1991, he received the DGA’s Honorary Life Membership. He also served as Dean of the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television (which he founded) from 1990—1998. In 2008, Cates produced the 80th Annual Academy Awards show for ABC, his 14th occasion producing the Awards, for which he has already garnered 84 nominations and 17 Emmy Awards. Mr Cates was born in New York City and attended Syracuse University. Married to Dr. Judith Reichman, he has four children, two stepchildren and six grandchildren.