Long-time Oscar show producer Gilbert Cates has died at the age of 77. According to TMZ, Cates’ body was discovered in a UCLA parking lot on October 31, 2011 (Cates was a UCLA professor). The cause of his death is under investigation.
Cates holds the record for producing the most Academy Awards shows, tackling the tough job 14 times between 1990-2008. Among the Oscar hosts Cates brought in to liven things up were Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart.
Statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
“Gil was our colleague, our friend and a former governor of the Academy,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “He was a consummate professional who gave the Academy and the world some of the most memorable moments in Oscar® history. His passing is a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry, and our thoughts go out to his family.”