Gilbert Cates

After the disastrous 1989 Oscars, the Motion Picture Academy tapped Gilbert Cates to save its telecast. His selection of comedian Billy Crystal as host helped revitalize one of the world's most watched events. Cates would produce 13 more Oscarcasts. A director and producer in theater and film, Cates, who died Oct. 31 at 77, was the founding dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and also founder of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He most cherished working with stage actors. "The joy of it is trying what doesn't work to find out what works," he said in...

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