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Saks, Gene

SAKS, GENE

SAKS, GENE (1921– ), U.S. director, actor. Trained as an actor at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research, a precursor of the Actors Studio, Saks was a cofounder of an acting troupe in the late 1940s. He made his Broadway acting debut in Juno and the Paycock (1947). Hebegan directing on Broadway in 1963 with Carl *Reiner's play Enter Laughing, and went on to excel in staging comedies and musicals, including Mame (1966), which featured his then wife, Beatrice Arthur, and Same Time, Next Year (1975). But he became best known for his deft touch with comedic plays by Neil *Simon. He directed Simon's autobiographical trilogy Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), Biloxi Blues (1985), and Broadway Bound (1986). He also directed several Simon movies, including Barefoot in the Park (1967), with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, The Odd Couple (1968), with Jack Lemmon and Walter *Matthau, and Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1986). Hemade his film acting debut in 1965, recreating his stage role as a paranoid kiddie-show host, Chuckles the Chipmunk, in A Thousand Clowns.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]

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