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Tony Winning Director Frank Galati Has Died at Age 79

Tony Winning Director Frank Galati Has Died at Age 79

Frank Galati (Image: YouTube)
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FLORIDA (CelebrityAccess) – Tony-winning director and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Frank Galati died in Florida on Monday (January 2). The Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced his death on Tuesday (January 3). He was 79. The cause of death was not revealed.

Galati was a stage director, adaptor, and actor who worked with the Steppenwolf and Goodman theatres in Chicago, once acting as the associate director of the Goodman.

“He embodied the joy in life,” said Roche Schulfer, chief executive officer of the Goodman. “Arguably the most influential theatre artist to come out of Chicago in the last 50 years, at least.”

Galati joined Steppenwolf in Lincoln Park as an ensemble member in 1985. He became the associate director of the Goodman downtown the following year – and remained in that role until 2008.

His adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath debuted at the Steppenwolf and went on to Broadway in New York. The play starred Gary Sinise in the role of Tom Joad. Galati won two Tony Awards in 1990 for the production – one for best play and the other for best director.

Galati also received a Tony Award nomination for Ragtime. The Oscar nod was for best screenplay for The Accidental Tourist. He was also credited for writing the teleplay to Arthur Miller’s play The American Clock.

“He had productions on Broadway. He had an Academy Award nomination,” Schulfer said. “The list of achievements is enormous.”

Most recently, Galati directed the Asolo Rep’s 2022 world premiere musical Knoxville, adapted from the James Agee novel A Death in the Family. The Ragtime team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty wrote Knoxville.

Galati’s long career also included directing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Lyric Opera of Chicago and teaching performance study at Northwestern University for nearly 40 years. He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2022.


Galati is survived by his partner, Peter Amster.

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