Gene Frankel, Theater Director and Acting Teacher Dies

Gene Frankel, 85, theater director and acting teacher died Wednesday of congestive heart failure according to the Associated Press.

Frankel died at New York University Hospital according to the AP.

Frankel, who directed many productions of Broadway, was also known for his off-Broadway productions, which according to the AP was where he met with his greatest successes.

One such success was his 1969 production of Arthur Kopit’s “Indians,” starring Stacy Keach as Buffalo Bill.

Frankel’s Broadway productions included; “A Cry of Players” (1968), “Lost in Stars” (1972 and “ The Night That Made America Famous.”

Frankel’s production of, “The Blacks” a sardonic drama about role-playing opened in 1961 and ran for more than 1,400 performances according to the AP. The production included many famous actors during their early stages in the industry according to AP.

James Earl Jones, Roscoe Lee Browne, Louis Gossett, Cicely Tyson and Godfrey Cambridge were among the future headliners in the production.

His off-Broadway productions included, “ Brecht on Brecht” and “To Be Young Gifted and Black.”

According to the AP, for most of Frankel’s life he taught acting, writing and direction, most recently at his small off-off Broadway theater in Greenwich Village.