TMZ reports that Gil Cates, the famous producer of a record fourteen Academy Award telecasts in 18 years, has died. He was 77 years old. From their post:
“Gilbert’s body was discovered last night in a parking lot at UCLA. Emergency teams responded to a call on the campus around 5:50PM, but were unable to revive Cates. The L.A. County coroner is investigating the cause of death. Cates underwent heart surgery earlier this month.”
From there Cates moved into film, helming movies like “Oh God! Book II” and “The Last Married Couple in America” then back to television for made for TV movies like “Fatal Judgement” with Patty Duke. He even has an Alan Smithee credit for an episode of 1980s revival of “The Twilight Zone.” He produced his first Academy Awards in 1990; Billy Crystal was the host and “Driving Miss Daisy” won Best Picture. He last produced the Oscars in 2008; Jon Stewart was the host and “No Country For Old Men” won Best Picture. Cates was also a two-time President of the Director’s Guild of America and worked as a professor at UCLA. It’s a sad end to a very impressive career.