Tony Winner Frank Galati Passes Away at 79 | Playbill

Obituaries Tony Winner Frank Galati Passes Away at 79

Mr. Galati was known for his adaptations of classic American novels, including Ragtime and The Grapes of Wrath.

Tony winner Frank Galati has passed away at the age of 79. News of his January 2 passing was confirmed by the Steppenwolf Theatre, his longtime theatrical home in Chicago.

Born in November 29, 1943, Mr. Galati was a leading member of the Chicago theatre scene, where he taught at Northwestern University and was an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre and the Goodman Theatre. Known for his skill at bringing classic American novels to the stage, his adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath was a significant success, netting him two Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Direction of a Play, as well as a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play.

In 1989, Mr. Galati was Oscar nominated for his screenplay The Accidental Tourist, and in 1998, he returned to Broadway with Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty, and Lynn Ahrens' epic Ragtime, adapted from the E.L. Doctorow novel, for which Mr. Galati was again Tony and Drama Desk nominated. 

Elsewhere on Broadway, Mr. Galati directed The Glass Menagerie, Seussical, and The Pirate Queen. In 2022, Mr. Galati was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. His final show, a new Ahrens and Flaherty musical titled Knoxville, premiered in Sarasota, Florida in April 2022.

Mr. Galati is survived by his husband, Peter Amster.

Peek Inside the Rehearsal Room For the New Frank Galati, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty's Musical Knoxville

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