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|Birthday/Birthplace||Jean Michael Saks
(1921-11-08)November 8, 1921
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Deceased||March 28, 2015(2015-03-28)
East Hampton, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Profession(s)||American actor, stage/film director|
(m. 1950; div. 1980)
Gene Saks , artistic name of Jean Michael Saks (New York, New York, November 8, 1921 – East Hampton, New York, March 28, 2015 ), was an actor and director of American cinema and theater.
Jean Michael Saks, who later adopted the name Gene Saks, was born in New York City, the son of Beatriz (née Lewkowitz) and Morris J. Saks, studied at Cornell University and participated in the disembarkation of Normandy. In his training as an actor, he attended the New School Dramatic Workshop (The New School) in New York with the German director Erwin Piscator.
Saks made his acting debut on Broadway in the Rodgers & amp; Hammerstein, South Pacific in 1949. On stage he also starred in ‘ A Shot in the Dark’ ‘ (The Idiot), The Tenth Man and A Thousand Clowns, in the role of Leo Herman, which he repeated in the film version. He played Jack Lemmon’s brother in the film adaptation of The Prisoner of Second Avenue and also appeared in A Hair of Fool, 1994 film, starring Paul Newman.
Since the late 1940s he had an intense collaboration with the playwright Neil Simon, of which he directed several plays including The Odd Couple (1965), California Suite (1976), Jake’s Women (1982), Biloxi Blues (1985) or Broadway Bound (1986).
At the cinema he directed hits like Barefoot in the Park with Robert Redford) and Jane Fonda, The Strange Couple with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, Flower of Cactus (with which Goldie Hawn won the Oscar for best supporting actress ), Last of the Red Hot Lovers, First of all, woman (Mame), a musical she had already directed on stage with Lucille Ball and his wife Beatrice Arthur and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Saks was married to actress Bea Arthur, between 1950 and 1980. The couple had two children. He was later married to Keren Saks, with whom he had a daughter, Saks died of pneumonia in East Hampton home in March 2015.
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