×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Biz honors Gil Cates

Memorial tribute took place Monday night

Friends of the late Gil Cates gathered Monday night for a memorial tribute that highlighted his idealism, humor, warmth and pragmatism.

“He was the great embodiment of joy in this business,” said Tom Hanks, one of more than a dozen speakers at the Directors Guild of America headquarters.

“He was so much fun to be around,” Hanks added.

Cates passed away Oct. 31 after a career that included lenghty leadership roles at the DGA, the Geffen Playhouse and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television along with producing 14 Oscar shows.

The Cates signature — a phone call seeking assistance — was impossible to resist, Annette Bening recalled.

“He’d always say, ‘I’m only calling the busiest people, which was brilliant,” she noted. “How could you say that you were too busy?”

Bening said she was particularly proud of working with Cates at the Geffen, adding, “You cannot be a producer of nonprofit theater without being an idealist.”

Billy Crystal got a big laugh when he said, “We did six Oscar shows together or 312 hours of live TV.”

Crystal said it’s strange to be hosting this year without Cates, adding, “This show, it will be for you.”

Jon Stewart, speaking on tape, recalled being asked by Cates to host the Oscars and being told he was the only host Cates wanted.

“He really had that Jedi producer mind trick going,” said Stewart, who hosted twice.

Longtime friend Lionel Chetwynd retold what he said was Cates’ favorite joke — “If a Jewish husband is in a forest and expresses an opinion no one hears, is he still wrong?”

Chetwynd also said, “I loved Gil Cates in a manly and platonic way.”

DGA president Taylor Hackford said that Cates retained a strong sense of looking forward.

“What I loved most about Gil was that he never stopped growing,” he noted. “He was the mench of menches.”

DGA national exec director Jay Roth recalled that Cates was DGA president during the guild’s only strike in 1987.

“It lasted only 15 minutes but had the precision of the Normandie invasion,” Roth said. “He had a unique method of developing consensus and leadership.”

Alan Alda recalled Cates telling him “I wouldn’t change a thing” on the last night of his life.”

Attendees included John Lithgow, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Barry Meyer, AMPTP chief Carol Lombardini, SAG chief David White, John Wells and Bob Pisano

More Film

  • 'All These Small Moments' Review

    Film Review: 'All These Small Moments'

    The magic of writer-director Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s “All These Small Moments” can be found within the intimacy of the scenarios, the authenticity of her earnest characterizations, and the accessibility of the actors’ honest performances. In her deftly polished directorial debut, Costanzo dovetails the primary story about a teen’s coming of age with a secondary [...]

  • Bruce Tufeld Dead: Hollywood Agent and

    Hollywood Agent and Manager Bruce Tufeld Dies at 66

    Bruce Tufeld, a Hollywood agent and manager who once repped stars like Rob Lowe, Laura Dern, and Kelsey Grammer, died Tuesday in Los Angeles as a result of complications from liver cancer. He was 66. The son of respected television announcer Richard “Dick” Tufeld and Adrienne Tufeld, Bruce began his career as an assistant at ICM [...]

  • Bruce Dern

    Film News Roundup: Bruce Dern's 'The Lears' Bought by Vertical for February Release

    In today’s film news roundup, Bruce Dern’s “The Lears” and “Angels Are Made of Light” are acquired, Cold War drama “Stanley Cage” is launched and a documentary about Madonna’s early music career gets a release. ACQUISITIONS Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights from NeoClassics Films to “The Lears,” starring Bruce Dern in a modern-day [...]

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content