Gil Cates Remembered (1934-2011)

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In addition to serving two terms as president of the Directors Guild of America and founding the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Gil Cates, who died Oct. 31, produced 14 Academy Awards shows from 1990 to 2008.

Remembers former Academy executive director Bruce Davis: "Gil had chaired a committee looking at what kind of changes we might make on the show, and the other governors were impressed enough with his recommendations, they asked him to do the next show. Then he brought in Billy Crystal, and that seemed to work out OK."

Crystal recalls: "Gil was a great friend and an amazing producer. It was under Gil's lead that I was able to try so many new ideas on the Oscars. He trusted me, and that freed us all up to create the Oscar medleys and opening films. He loved live performance and understood it as well as anyone I have ever worked with. It is a great loss, and I will miss his friendship, his sweetness and his wisdom."