Veteran Oscar producer Gilbert Cates dead at 77

By the Associated Press | November 1, 2011 | 2:05 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Producer and director Gilbert Cates, who oversaw a record 14 Academy Awards ceremonies and founded the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, has died. He was 77.

The Directors Guild of America confirmed the death Tuesday.

Cates founded the School of Theater Film and Television at UCLA and was its dean for eight years. He also served as president of the Directors Guild of America and on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Cates last produced the Oscar telecast in 2008, when the ceremony was almost sidelined by the Writers Guild strike. His credits also include movies, TV shows and plays on and off Broadway. He continued to produce and direct plays at the Geffen Playhouse.