In this sad news from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Gil Cates passes at 77 years old. Mr. Cates produced the Academy Awards 14 times, more than any other person.

A popular figure in Hollywood and with the motion picture industry, Gil served with the Academy first in 1983 and through 1994, Gil served on the Academy’s Governor’s Board Director’s Branch. He returned in 2002 and was vice president of the Academy from 2003 to 2005.

Cates was singularly responsible for bringing to the Oscars six legendary hosts of the production: Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart.

Academy President Tom Sherak said “Gil was our colleague, our friend and a former governor of the Academy. 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.”

The Governors Awards Series

On this Wednesday, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present its inaugural Governors Awards Film Series, featuring screenings of The Exorcist, The Color Purple, and The Great White Hope, from Wednesday, November 9, to Friday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The events celebrate the achievements of the 2011 Honorary Governors Award recipients, actor James Earl Jones, motion picture makeup pioneer Dick Smith, and the 2011 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient, actress and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey.

From the Academy:

The series schedule is as follows:

November 9: “The Exorcist” (1973). This cultural touchstone showcases Dick Smith’s groundbreaking makeup designs, including 14-year-old Linda Blair’s satanic transformation. Introduced by Academy governor Leonard Engelman, the evening will feature Smith in person as well as remarks from special effects makeup artist Rick Baker and cinematographer Owen Roizman. While “The Exorcist” received 10 Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture, Smith himself was not formally recognized for his remarkable work, as the Academy Awards® Makeup category would not be established until 1981.

November 10: “The Color Purple” (1985). One of today’s most influential figures in entertainment and philanthropy, Oprah Winfrey received a Supporting Actress nomination for her performance as Sofia in this 11-time Oscar-nominated film. Academy President Tom Sherak will introduce the evening, which will feature remarks from fellow nominee Margaret Avery, who played Shug Avery in the film, and a video message from 2009 nominee Gabourey Sidibe. Sidibe’s breakthrough performance came as the title character in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” which Winfrey executive produced.

November 11: “The Great White Hope” (1970). James Earl Jones won a Tony® Award as boxer Jack Johnson in The Great White Hope on Broadway, and two years later, earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in the big screen adaptation. Introduced by Academy President Tom Sherak, the evening will feature remarks from Phillip Noyce, who directed Jones in “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger,” and actor Courtney B. Vance, a co-star in “The Hunt for Red October.”

The week will culminate in the Academy’s 3rd Annual Governors Awards presentation on Saturday, November 12, at which Jones will be honored “for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility,” Smith “for his unparalleled mastery of texture, shade, form and illusion,” and Winfrey “for efforts that promote hope around the world and goodwill for the film industry.” All three will receive Oscar statuettes.

Animated Feature Film Clips

To qualify in the Animated Feature Film category for the 84th Academy Awards, you must have submitted entry forms and supporting materials to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday, November 1. The deadline to send in accompanying film prints is Friday, November 11.

Academy Doc Series Wednesday

Born Sweet and Enemies of the People will screen as the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 30th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, November 9, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The Academy says admission to all screenings in the series is free.

For more information, visit visit or call (310) 247-3600.

Stay tuned.

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    Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.