Gilbert Cates

Director, Producer, Page at NBC
As a prolific director and producer, Gilbert Cates largely became known to the public at large for producing 14 Academy Awards telecasts in an 18-year span, as well as for directing such feature films as "I Never Sang ... Read more »
Born: 06/05/1934 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Producer (48)

A Holiday Celebration at Ford's Theater 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Oscar Countdown 2006 1960 - 1962, 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

The 78th Annual Academy Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Producer

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Oscar Countdown 2005 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The 77th Annual Academy Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Producer

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

CBS at 75: A Primetime Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Oscar Countdown 2003 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The 75th Annual Academy Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Producer

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Rockin' for the U.S.A.: A National Tribute to the U.S. Military 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Oscar Countdown 2001 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The 73rd Annual Academy Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Producer

An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Sunday at the Oscars 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The 71st Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Producer

Tom Clancy's NetForce 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The 70th Annual Academy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Producer

To Life! America Celebrates Israel's 50th 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The 69th Annual Academy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Producer

The 67th Annual Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Producer

The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Producer

The 65th Annual Academy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Producer

The 64th Annual Academy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Producer

The 63rd Annual Academy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Producer

Call Me Anna 1990 (Movie)

(Producer)

The 62nd Annual Academy Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Producer

Fifty Years of Country Music 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Country Stars of the '70s 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Elvis Remembered: Nashville to Hollywood 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Oh, God! Book II 1980 (Movie)

(Producer)

Skinflint 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Fame 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Stubby Pringle's Christmas 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Country Night of the Stars I 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Country Night of the Stars II 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Have I Got a Christmas For You! 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Last Married Couple in America 1978 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Off Campus 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Producer

Dragonfly 1974 (Movie)

(Producer)

I Never Sang For My Father 1970 (Movie)

(Producer)

I've Got a Secret 1951 - 1968 (TV Show)

Producer

In My Daughter's Name (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Innocent Victims (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Kid From Nowhere (TV Show)

Producer
Director (31)

America Celebrates July 4th at Ford's Theatre 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Director

The 80th Annual Academy Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Segment Director

Call Me Anna 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Backfire 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Johnny Cash: Christmas on the Road 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Director

Hobson's Choice 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Director

Johnny Cash: Christmas 1983 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Director

Oh, God! Book II 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

The Promise 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

The Last Married Couple in America 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

Circus Lions, Tigers and Melissas Too 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Director

After the Fall 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Director

Dragonfly 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

I Never Sang For My Father 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Camouflage 1960 - 1962 (Tv Show)

Director

A Death in the Family (TV Show)

Director

Absolute Strangers (TV Show)

Director

Burning Rage (TV Show)

Director

Child's Cry (TV Show)

Director

Collected Stories (TV Show)

Director

Confessions: Two Faces of Evil (TV Show)

Director

Consenting Adult (TV Show)

Director

Country Gold (TV Show)

Director

Do You Know the Muffin Man? (TV Show)

Director

Fatal Judgment (TV Show)

Director

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye (TV Show)

Director

My First Love (TV Show)

Director

The Affair (TV Show)

Director

To All My Friends on Shore (TV Show)

Director
Actor (3)

Spent 2000 (Movie)

Mr Walsh (Actor)

50 Years of Action! 1985 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Biography

As a prolific director and producer, Gilbert Cates largely became known to the public at large for producing 14 Academy Awards telecasts in an 18-year span, as well as for directing such feature films as "I Never Sang for My Father" (1970), "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" (1973) and "Oh, God! Book II" (1980), and numerous TV movies and specials. But it was his long reign as a director and producer of the yearly Academy Awards program that cemented his legacy; a gig Cates began in 1990 and carried through for most broadcasts over the next two-plus decades. Cates began the stint at a time when the awards show's popularity was waning and was noted for shaking up the status quo by infusing new blood with hosts Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman. Of course, some of his decisions - particularly Letterman and Goldberg - were widely criticized, but he nonetheless helped return the Oscars to prominence, and in the process, became the show's most successful producer and that behind-the-scenes rarity - a household name.

Relationships

Kit Adler

Sister

David Cates Music Editor

Son
Mother, Betty Jane Dubin

Gil Cates Jr. Music Editor

Son
Born Oct. 1, 1969; mother, Betty Jane Dubin Directed father in "$pent" (2000)

Jon Cates Music Editor

Son
Mother, Betty Jane Dubin Edited the 2000 film "$pent," which featured his father and directed by brother Gil Cates Jr.

Joseph Cates Executive Producer

Brother
Born Aug. 10, 1934 Died Oct. 10, 1998

Melissa Cates

Daughter
Mother, Betty Jane Dubin; married to Roger Claman; mother of Evan Nathaniel, born on Oct. 14, 1997 and Jordan Matthew, born on April 28, 2000

Phoebe Cates Executive Producer

Niece
Daughter of Gilbert's brother Joseph Cates; starred in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982) and "Gremlins" (1984)

Betty Dubin

Wife
Married Feb. 9, 1957 Divorced

Nathan Katz

Father
Died on Nov. 16, 1974 at age 80

Nina Katz

Mother
Died on May 5, 1979 at age 86

Judith Reichman Executive Producer

Wife
Married Jan. 25, 1987; she had two children, Ronit and Anat, from first marriage

EDUCATION

Syracuse University

Syracuse , New York 1965

The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

New York , New York 1953

Syracuse University

Syracuse , New York 1955

Milestones

2008

Executive produced the 80th Annual Academy Awards telecast (ABC)

2005

Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Motion Picture category)

2005

Executive produced first "Oscar Countdown" special (ABC); returned as executive producer in 2006 and 2008

2002

Directed screen adaptation of James Agee’s "A Death in the Family" (PBS)

2000

Made rare acting appearance in the drama feature "$pent"; film directed by son Gil Cates Jr.

1990

Produced his first Academy Awards telecast (ABC)

1990

Directed Patty Duke's autobiographical drama "Call Me Anna" (ABC), which chronicled the actress' battle with mental illness

1989

Helmed the CBS TV-movie "Do You Know the Muffin Man?"; nominated for an Emmy Award in 1990 for Outstanding Directing in a Miniseries or a Special

1985

Directed the ABC TV-movie "Consenting Adult"; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series or a Special

1980

Directed George Burns in the comedy feature "Oh, God! Book II"; also produced

1977

Executive produced several episodes of "Hallmark Hall of Fame" series

1973

Directed the film "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams," which garnered Academy Award nominations for stars Joanne Woodward and Sylvia Sidney

1972

Produced and directed TV-movie "To All My Friends on Shore" (CBS)

1969

Made feature directorial debut with "I Never Sang for My Father," starring Gene Hackman and Melvyn Douglas

1966

Directed first feature, the documentary "Rings Around the World"; also produced

1964

Co-produced with brother Joseph the Broadway production of "Spoon River Anthology"; also produced in London

1962

Made first short film, "The Painting"

1961

Made television directing and producing debut with the game show "Camouflage" (ABC)

1957

Worked as stage manager for Broadway production of "Shinbone Alley"

1955

Was instructor of speech and drama at Syracuse University

1952

Served as one of the producers of the game show "I've Got a Secret" (CBS, Syndicated)

Bonus Trivia

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"Cates has produced a leaner, swifter-paced [Oscar] show, coming up with themes that the production numbers and presentations are packaged with." – Jack Matthews to New York Newsday, March 30, 1992

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Cates joined the Director's Guild of America in 1960. He served as President of the DGA from 1983-87. He was made a designated Honorary Life Member of the DGA in 1991 and became the third person in history to receive the DGA’s Presidents Award in 2005.

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Cates served as Dean of UCLA School of Theater Film and Television, which he founded, from 1990-98.

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In 1995, Cates presided over the opening of the Geffen Playhouse (formerly called the Westwood Playhouse), which had been donated to UCLA the previous year and was renamed after a $5-million gift from music, film and theater mogul David Geffen.

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On Oct. 31, 2011, Cates was found collapsed in the parking lot on the campus of UCLA. According to the university, emergency medical personnel responded to a call on campus at about 5:50 p.m. but were unable to revive him. In a written statement, Terry Schwartz, dean of UCLA's theater school, said, "Our entire TFT community is overwhelmingly saddened by the loss of our beloved mentor, colleague and friend. Today we mourn our great loss but also celebrate Gil's extraordinary vision and countless contributions, not only to TFT as founding dean and distinguished professor but to the entertainment and performing arts industries and the education of our students, who benefited from his remarkable talent, insights, generosity, experience and wisdom. Our deepest condolences and love go out to Gil's beloved family at this very difficult time."

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