Los Angeles (November 1, 2011) — Screen Actors Guild mourns the passing of Gil Cates. Cates, a former Directors Guild of America president and past dean of the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California Los Angeles, died Monday. He was 77.
The uncle of actor Phoebe Cates, Gil Cates served as president of the DGA from 1983 – 1987 and as secretary-treasurer since 1997. He also produced 14 Academy Awards shows and numerous films and television movies, including Oh God! Book II, I Never Sang for My Father and The Last Married Couple in America.
“Gil was a great friend and a big help to me as I navigated my early days as president. He was helpful and wise and was quick to offer invaluable advice. He was a tremendous force in entertainment labor and will be missed,” said SAG President Ken Howard.
“Working for him as an actor at his beloved Geffen Playhouse and alongside him as a fellow union officer, I saw Gil Cates' love of life, respect for his fellow man and desire to be of service coloring everything he did. He was a true joy to be around and an inspiration to us all. My heart goes out to his wife Judith and all who were privileged to call him friend,” SAG Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino said.
“On behalf of the members of SAG, I would like to offer my condolences to Gil’s wife, Judith Reichman, his children and the other members of his family. His passing will be felt deeply, but his legacy lives on in the countless students who learned their craft at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and in the tremendous impact he made through his service to the members of the DGA.” said SAG National Executive Director David White.