Frank Galati, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Accidental Tourist, dies at 79

Frank Galati dies at 79: Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of Accidental Tourist and Tony Award-winner for Broadway’s Grapes Of Wrath, starring Gary Sinise, dies after a long career

  • Frank Galati died on Monday at the age of 79, it was announced on Tuesday
  • The Chicago native’s death was announced by his husband Peter Amster
  • So far, no cause of death has been announced for the theater director
  • He was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay for The Accidental Tourist in 1988
  • And he won a Tony Award for his Broadway version of The Grapes Of Wrath

Frank Galati died on Monday at the age of 79.

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

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

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

A sad loss for art: Frank Galati died on Monday at the age of 79. seen in 2007

A sad loss for art: Frank Galati died on Monday at the age of 79. seen in 2007

Frank’s theatrical ties ran deep.

From 1986 to 2008 he was Associate Director at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and has been a member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company since 1985. Galati also served as a professor at Northwestern University.

His success came in the 1980s when he worked in the theater. One of his first hits was a 1987 production of Aunt Dan And Lemon, starring theater star Wallace Shawn.

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

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

His hit film: The Hollywood veteran found his first success in 1988 when he adapted the book The Accidental Tourist for the screen with (pictured from 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 young son, the marriage between Macon (Hurt) and his wife Sarah (Turner) falls apart and she moves out. After a freak accident leaves him on crutches, Macon stays with his quirky siblings at the family home, where he meets the high-spirited Muriel (Geena Davis), a dog trainer with a young son

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

Then Galati went back to theater with an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath.

The production began in 1988 at the Steppenwolf Theater in Illinois with actors Sinise and Terry Kinney and then went 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.

A work of note: Galati was best known for his work on Broadway, winning a Tony Award in 1989 for his stage adaptation of Grapes Of Wrath, starring Gary Sinise (pictured left) and Terry Kinney (right).

A work of note: Galati was best known for his work on Broadway, winning a Tony Award in 1989 for his stage adaptation of Grapes Of Wrath, starring Gary Sinise (pictured left) and Terry Kinney (right).

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

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

In 1998 he returned to Broadway directing Ragtime, a production of Terrence McNally’s adaptation of the EL Doctorow novel.

In 2005 he worked on the play After The Quake and in 2009 he took on the role of Prospero in The Tempest. It stood out as Steppenwolf’s first production of Shakespeare.

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

His last show was Knoxville 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. In 1972 he joined the faculty of the university.

On stage: He was spotted alongside Mary Zimmerman in the 2007 San Francisco production of After The Quake

On stage: He was spotted alongside Mary Zimmerman in the 2007 San Francisco production of After The Quake

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Greg Norman

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