Gene Saks dies of pneumonia at 93

New York:Tony-winning director Gene Saks, who helmed many Neil Simon’s plays on Broadway, passed away at his home here. He was 93.

His wife Keren told New York Times that the cause of Saks’ death on Saturday was pneumonia, reports

Saks, who was born November 8, 1921, in New York City, trained for acting at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School while attending college at Cornell University.

He made his acting debut in Broadway’s “South Pacific” in 1949 and his TV debut in 1951 on “Out There”.

He turned into a director in 1960s and shared a long-term professional relationship with Simon.

He directed Simon’s Broadway plays which included “Biloxi Blues”, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, “Jake’s Women”, “Rumors”, “Lost in Yonkers”, “Broadway Bound”, “The Odd Couple” and “California Suite”.

Saks then directed seven feature films based on Simon’s Broadway plays, including “The Odd Couple”, “Barefoot in the Park”, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs”.

He won three Tony Awards for Cy Coleman-Michael Stewart’s musical “I Love My Wife” and Simon’s plays “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues”.

Saks is survived by his wife Keren and their daughter Annabelle, his two children Matthew and Daniel from his marriage to Bea Arthur, and three grandchildren.