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Frank Galati dies aged 79: Oscar-nominated screenwriter for The Accidental Tourist

Frank Galati dies aged 79: Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of Accidental Tourist and Tony Award-winner of Broadway’s Grapes of Wrath with Gary Sinise passes away after long career

  • Frank Galati died aged 79 on Monday, it was announced on Tuesday
  • The Chicago native’s passing was announced by her husband, Peter Amster.
  • But so far no cause of death has been disclosed for the theater director.
  • He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for 1988’s The Accidental Tourist.
  • And he won a Tony Award for his Broadway version of The Grapes Of Wrath.

Frank Galati died aged 79 on Monday.

Her passing was announced by her husband, Peter Amster, but the cause of death was not disclosed, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The Hollywood veteran hit it big in 1988 when he adapted the book The Accidental Tourist for the screen with William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Geena Davis starring. The Chicago native was nominated for an Oscar for his efforts.

But Galati was best known for his work on Broadway, as he won a Tony Award in 1990 for his stage adaptation of Grapes Of Wrath, starring actor Gary Sinise.

A sad loss to the arts: Frank Galati died aged 79 on Monday.  seen in 2007

A sad loss to the arts: Frank Galati died aged 79 on Monday. seen in 2007

Frank’s theater ties ran deep.

He was associate director of Chicago’s Goodman Theater from 1986 to 2008 and a member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company since 1985. Galati has also worked as a professor at Northwestern University.

His success came in the 1980s when he worked in theater. One of her early successes was a 1987 production of Aunt Dan and Lemon, which starred the theater great Wallace Shawn.

Then came his Oscar-nominated work in The Accidental Tourist, which was a critical and commercial dynamo.

His film success: The Hollywood veteran found early success in 1988 when he adapted the book The Accidental Tourist for the screen with (pictured left) Kathleen Turner, William Hurt and Geena Davis.  The Chicago native was nominated for an Oscar for his efforts

His film success: The Hollywood veteran found early success in 1988 when he adapted the book The Accidental Tourist for the screen with (pictured left) Kathleen Turner, William Hurt and Geena Davis. The Chicago native was nominated for an Oscar for his efforts

The plot: After the murder of their son, the marriage between Macon (Hurt) and his wife Sarah (Turner) disintegrates and she moves out.  After a freak accident puts him on crutches, Macon goes to stay with his quirky siblings at the family home, where he meets the spirited Muriel (Geena Davis), a dog trainer with a young son.

The plot: After the murder of their son, the marriage between Macon (Hurt) and his wife Sarah (Turner) disintegrates and she moves out. After a freak accident puts him on crutches, Macon goes to stay with his quirky siblings at the family home, where he meets the spirited Muriel (Geena Davis), a dog trainer with a young son.

So Galati returned to the theater with an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath.

Production began in 1988 at the Steppenwolf Theater in Illinois with actors Sinise and Terry Kinney and then moved to Broadway in New York City.

Galati’s work earned him a Tony Award.

He then had many hits with his Chicago productions, including 1995’s As I Lay Dying.

Notable work: Galati was best known for his work on Broadway as he won a Tony Award in 1989 for his stage adaptation of Grapes Of Wrath with Gary Sinise, pictured left, and Terry Kinney, right

Notable work: Galati was best known for his work on Broadway as he won a Tony Award in 1989 for his stage adaptation of Grapes Of Wrath with Gary Sinise, pictured left, and Terry Kinney, right

Behind the scenes: Elaine Steinbeck, wife of author John, at the opening party for the stage adaptation of the novel The Grapes of Wrath with Sinise (second from left), set designer Kevin Rigdon (left) and director Frank, right

Behind the scenes: Elaine Steinbeck, wife of author John, at the opening party for the stage adaptation of the novel The Grapes of Wrath with Sinise (second from left), set designer Kevin Rigdon (left) and director Frank, right

In 1998 he was back on Broadway, where he directed Ragtime, which was a production of Terrence McNally’s adaptation of the EL Doctorow novel.

In 2005 he worked in the play After The Quake and in 2009 he played Prospero in The Tempest. It stood out as Steppenwolf’s first Shakespearean production.

In 2012, he worked on The March, and in 2015, he turned his talents to The Herd.

His last Knoxville show was at the Asolo Repertory Theater in Sarasota, Florida, where he moved in his later years.

Galati was born in 1943 in Highland Park, Chicago.

He graduated from Glenbrook High School in Northbrook in 1961 and spent a year in Western Illinois before transferring to Northwestern. He joined the university’s faculty in 1972.

On stage: He was seen along with Mary Zimmerman for the San Francisco production of After The Quake in 2007

On stage: He was seen along with Mary Zimmerman for the San Francisco production of After The Quake in 2007

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