Frank Galati, the Broadway director who won the Tony Award for his adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath for the stage, has died aged 79.

The cause of death has not been revealed yet.

Who was Frank Galati?

Frank Galati was born on November 29, 1943 at Illinois’ Highland Park. Galati was enrolled at Western Illinois University before moving on to Northwestern University from where he earned a BS degree in speech.

The late playwright and actor began his professional career as a professor at the University of Florida. However, he kept up his studies on the side and eventually earned a postgraduate degree and later a PhD from Northwestern University.

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Galati won twin Tonys in 1990 — best play and best director — for his adaptation and staging of Steppenwolf’s production of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” starring Gary Sinise as Tom Joad. He was also nominated for directing the 1998 celebrated musical “Ragtime.”

His screenwriting credits include “The Accidental Tourist,” for which he was an Oscar nominee. He also was credited for writing the teleplay to Arthur Miller’s play “The American Clock” in 1993.

He had highs but also lows on Broadway, including watching his production of “The Pirate Queen” be shipwrecked by blistering reviews and become one of Broadway’s costliest flops in 2007 and being fired in 2001 as director of “Seussical.”

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The Accidental Tourist, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, was adapted from the novel by Lawrence Kasdan and Galati. For the work, the duo was honoured with a USC Scripter Award.