Gene Saks Biography (1921-)

Born November 8, 1921, in New York, NY; son of Morris J. and Beatrix (Lewkowitz) Saks; married Beatrice Arthur (an actress; also known as Bea Arthur), May28, 1950 (divorced); married; wife's name, Keren; children: (first marriage)Matthew, Daniel; (second marriage) Annabelle. Career: Actor and director. Member: Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (former president), Actors Equity, Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America. Awards, Honors: Antoinette Perry Award nominations, best director of a musical, 1965, for Half a Sixpence, and 1966, for Mame; AntoinettePerry Award nominations, best director of a play, 1975, for Same Time, Next Year, and 1991, for Lost in Yonkers; Antoinette Perry Award, best director of musical, 1977, for I Love My Wife; New York Drama Critics Circle Award, best director of a play, 1983, for Brighton Beach Memoirs; Antoinette Perry Awards, best director of a play, 1983, for BrightonBeach Memoirs, and 1985, for Biloxi Blues; elected to Theatre Hall of Fame, 1989; Lifetime Achievement Award (with George Abbot), 1990; OuterCritics Circle Award, best director, 1991, for Lost in Yonkers; GuildHall Lifetime Achievement Award, 1994. Addresses: Contact: Society ofStage Directors and Choreographers, 1501 Broadway, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10036.

actor, director
Birth Details
November 8, 1921
New York, New York, United States

Famous Works

  • Stage Appearances
  • Joxer, Juno and the Paycock, Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City, 1947
  • The butler, Topaze, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1947
  • The vicar and W. H. Auden, Dog beneath the Skin, 1947
  • The engineer, Gas, 1947
  • Henry IV, Pirandello's Henry IV, 1947
  • Renee St. Gaul, The Watched Pot, 1947
  • Old shepherd, The Infernal Machine, Provincetown Playhouse, New York City, 1948
  • The park attendant, Within the Gates, 1948
  • The Doctor, him, 1948
  • The German, Yes Is for a Very Young Man, Cherry Lane Theatre, NewYork City, 1949
  • Professor of religion, Too Many Thumbs, Cherry Lane Theatre, 1949
  • Monsieur Jordan, The Bourgeois Gentleman, Cherry Lane Theatre, 1949
  • Second discusser, Marty's Double, Mansfield Theatre, NY, 1950
  • Sam, All You Need Is One Good Break, Mansfield, NY, 1950
  • Chauffeur, Personal Appearance, Circle Theatre, Atlantic City, NJ,1951
  • Bill Page, Voice of the Turtle, Circle Theatre, 1951
  • Wilbur, For Love or Money, Circle Theatre, 1951
  • Missouri Legend, Circle Theatre, 1951
  • Professor, South Pacific, Majestic Theatre, New York City, 1951, then City Center Theatre, New York City, 1955
  • Citizen and servant, Coriolanus, Phoenix Theatre, New York City, 1954
  • Wicked Duke, The Thirteen Clocks, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, 1954
  • Billy Gordon, Late Love, Westchester Playhouse, Mt. Kisco, NY, 1954
  • Ragnar Brovik, The Master Builder, Phoenix Theatre, 1955
  • Charlie Reader, The Tender Trap, Westchester Playhouse, then Dennis, MA, 1955
  • Richard Sherman, The Seven Year Itch, Westchester Playhouse, 1956
  • Del Rio, The Gimmick, Westport Country Playhouse, 1956
  • Various roles, Johnny Johnston, Carnegie Hall Playhouse, New YorkCity, 1956
  • First god, The Good Woman of Szechuan, Phoenix Theatre, 1956
  • Son-in-law, Middle of the Night, American National Theatre and Academy, New York City, 1957
  • Captain, The Infernal Machine, Phoenix Theatre, 1958
  • The professor, Howie, 46th Street Theatre, New York City, 1958
  • Various roles, Album Leaves, Spoleto Festival, Italy, 1959
  • Young Rabbi, The Tenth Man, Booth Theatre, New York City, 1959
  • Norman Yarrow, Love and Libel, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City,1960
  • Morestan, A Shot in the Dark, Booth Theatre, 1961
  • Leo Herman, A Thousand Clowns, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 1962
  • The Goodbye People, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge, MA, 1971
  • Stage Work
  • Director
  • Enter Laughing, Henry Miller's Theatre, New York City, 1963
  • Nobody Loves an Albatross, Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 1963-64
  • Half a Sixpence, Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, 1964, then Curran Theatre, San Francisco, CA, 1966, later Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Generation, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1965
  • Mame, Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, 1966
  • A Mother's Kisses, Shubert Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1968, then Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore, MD.
  • Sheep on the Runway, Helen Hayes Theatre, New York City, 1970, then Washington, DC, 1970
  • How the Other Half Loves, Royale Theatre, New York City, 1971
  • Same Time, Next Year, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City, 1975-78
  • California Suite, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, 1976-77
  • I Love My Wife, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1977-79
  • Prince of Grand Street, Philadelphia, PA, and Boston, MA, 1978
  • Home Again, Home Again, Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, Ontario,Canada, then American Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford, CT, 1979
  • Save Grand Central, Phoenix Theatre Company, Marymount Manhattan Theatre, New York City, 1980
  • Special Occasions, Music Box Theatre, New York City, 1980 and 1982
  • The Supporting Cast, Biltmore Theatre, New York City, 1981
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs, Alvin Theatre, New York City, 1983-84
  • Biloxi Blues, Neil Simon Theatre, New York City, 1985-87
  • The Odd Couple, Broadhurst Theatre, 1985, then Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, 1985
  • Rags, Mark Hellinger Theatre, New York City, 1986
  • Broadway Bound, Broadhurst Theatre, 1986-88
  • A Month of Sundays, Ritz Theatre, New York City, 1987
  • Rumors, Broadhurst Theatre, 1988
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner, Barbican Theatre, London, England, 1989
  • Lost in Yonkers, Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York City, 1991-93
  • Jake's Women, Neil Simon Theatre, 1992
  • Lost in Yonkers, James A. Doolittle Theatre, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 1992
  • The Goodbye Girl, Shubert Theatre, Chicago, 1993
  • Jake's Women, James A. Doolittle Theatre, University of Californiaat Los Angeles, 1993
  • Major Tours
  • Stefanowski, Mr. Roberts, 1950-51
  • Stage Work
  • Major Tours; Director
  • The Millionairess, 1963
  • Half a Sixpence, U.S. cities, 1966-67
  • Mame, U.S. cities, 1968
  • I Love My Wife, U.S. cities, 1977
  • California Suite, U.S. cities, 1977-78
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs, U.S. cities, 1983-85
  • Bye-Bye Birdie, U.S. cities, 1991-92
  • Also director of Biloxi Blues, U.S. cities; Broadway Bound,U.S. cities; Lost in Yonkers, U.S. cities; and Rumors, U.S. cities.
  • Film Appearances
  • Leo "Chuckles" Herman, A Thousand Clowns, United Artists, 1965
  • Harry, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Warner Bros., 1974
  • Sidney Seltzer, The One and Only, Paramount, 1978
  • Frantic patient, Lovesick, Warner Bros., 1983
  • Marcus Soloway, The Goodbye People, Embassy, 1984
  • Funny, Associates and Ferren, 1988
  • Wirf, Nobody's Fool, Paramount, 1994
  • Boris Podolsky, I.Q., Paramount, 1994
  • Harry's father, Deconstructing Harry, Fine Line Features, 1997
  • Film Work
  • Director
  • Barefoot in the Park, Paramount, 1967
  • The Odd Couple, Paramount, 1968
  • Cactus Flower, Columbia, 1969
  • Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Paramount, 1972
  • Mame, Warner Bros., 1974
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs (also known as Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs), Universal, 1986
  • "Thanks for Looking at My Line," Funny, Associates and Ferren, 1988
  • Tchin-Tchin, Independent CEP (France), 1989
  • A Fine Romance, Castle Hill, 1992
  • Television Appearances
  • Series
  • Actors Studio, ABC and CBS, 1949
  • Episodic
  • "D-Day," You Are There, CBS, 1955
  • "Castoff," Law and Order, NBC, 1998
  • Also appeared in Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as CircleTheater), NBC and CBS; Philco Television Playhouse, NBC; Playwrights '56, NBC; Producers' Showcase, NBC; Omnibus, CBS andABC; and The U.S. Steel Hour, ABC and CBS.
  • Specials
  • Psychiatrist, Love, Sex, and Marriage, ABC, 1983
  • Neil Simon: Not Just for Laughs, 1989
  • Broadway '97: Launching the Tonys, PBS, 1997
  • Television Work
  • Director; Specials
  • Love, Sex, and Marriage, ABC, 1983
  • Television Appearances
  • Movies
  • Sol Jacobs, On Seventh Avenue, NBC, 1996
  • Television Work
  • Director; Movies
  • Bye Bye Birdie, ABC, 1995

Further Reference


    • Architectural Digest, November 1995, pp. 196-202.

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