Gilbert ‘Gil’ Cates, who produced a record 14 Academy Award (Oscars) shows, has died at the age of 77. He collapsed at the UCLA campus on Monday and despite the best efforts of paramedics, he could not be saved.
Cates started out as a director and producer, working on TV shows such as The Twilight Zone and films such as the Gene Hackman drama I Never Sang For My Father. He also founded the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA, where he was dean for eight years and remained a professor until his death.
He will probably be best remembered, though, for his work with the Academy Award shows. He is credited with bringing the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Chris Rock onboard. His last show was in 2008, when he managed to get the show up and running despite the threat of a Hollywood writers’ strike.