Joseph Cates Biography ((?)-)



See index for CTFT sketch: Born August 10, 1924, in New York, NY; diedof complications from leukemia, October 10, 1998, in New York, NY. Producer,writer, and director. Cates produced, wrote, and directed nearly one thousand television specials and was thus credited with making the special a regularfeature on network television. Highlights of his long career in television include the creation of The $64,000 Question, one of the first and mostpopular television quiz shows; he also won Emmy Awards for his role as producer of a 1970 special starring Anne Bancroft and a 1972 tribute to George Gershwin. Cates played a pivotal role in the creation of The Honeymooners, considered a classic situation comedy, casting Art Carney opposite Jackie Gleason and designing the original set. Cates was fond of comedy and early became known for his work with Gleason, the comedy team of Bob and Ray, Alan King, Robert Klein, Steve Martin, and others. He was also known to have a weakness for country music, circuses, and beauty pageants and was instrumental in bringing these forms of entertainment to network television, thereby increasing their popularity enormously. Cates brought his considerable skills for organizing and promoting shows to Broadway in the 1960s, producing What MakesSammy Run, Joe Egg, and Elmer Gantry. He also staged a production of the Spoon River Anthology, writing a letter of protest to the New York Times when audiences stayed away in droves despite the critics' acclaim; the play worked, and Spoon River Anthology went on to become a hit. Cates was the father of actress Phoebe Cates and the brotherof Hollywood director Gil Cates.

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