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My tribute to Gil Cates

Gil Cates was my godfather. He was also a kind, warm, funny, wonderful human being.

He accomplished a lot (theater and movie director and producer; producer of the Academy Awards; Dean of the School for Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA; and artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse). He was also a great dad, a loving husband, and a best friend to many… including my dad, for the last 60 years.

After attending his memorial last night, I felt moved to share a few words of my own.


  1. Paula says:

    My sympathies, Morgana, on losing such a significant person in your life. I bet it was wonderful to hear all the stories about him. A true celebration of his life.

    Thanks for sharing. Be gentle with yourself over the next days and weeks.

  2. Laurel Vespi says:

    What a lovely tribute Morgana. We can all live a life like that. We create our legacy one day at a time. Sounds like Gil really understood that.

  3. Melanie Parish says:

    Blessings to you, Morgana. Gil sounds like an amazing man. Take care.

  4. rina says:

    Hi Morgana,

    You are a beautiful person,
    You moved me deeply- to tears.

    It’s hard when we loose someone that is so precious and close.

    Get a hug



  5. Mo Bailey says:

    While watching this Morgana, it was easy to visualize warmth and love coming from Gil to you. I highly suspect he felt this somehow and sends you a hand on heart, loving hug. I send one to you too.

  6. Dana says:

    I’m so sorry to learn of your loss. I am sure Gil left you with many happy memories and will be smiling down upon you for ever after.

  7. Ian Blei says:

    Thank you Morgana,
    your deeply authentic, open share feels like such a gift. I am simultaneously sad for your loss and joyful for the time you had, the memories that became part of who you are, the real and beautiful spirit that you are. You conveyed the paradoxical ends of the spectrum so completely, to not “get” it would require a complete lack of mirror neurons.
    cyber hugs to you; may you be wrapped in love,

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Morgana,

    it is sweet that you share of yourself in such a way!

    I think we would all love to do that!

    The death of someone close to our heart brings about pressure to share more of our gems!!!

    His gems through yours 🙂

    Sincerely and with love,

  9. Barry says:

    Your tears and emotion touched me deeply. I appreciate the love you felt with Gil and know he will always be smiling upon you. He was (and still is) a major light in the industry and in life. You are blessed. 🙂

    1. Morgana Rae says:

      Thank you Barry. 🙂

  10. Suzane O'Keeffe says:

    So moving Morgana! I am so touched by your open heart. Blessings and light to Gil, your family and you.

    love n peace

    1. Morgana Rae says:

      Thank you Suzanne. It’s nice to hear from you!

  11. Syllviea Hagen says:

    Morgana ~
    You have shared a beautiful tribute for this wonderful life force, your godfather Gil Cates. Thank you for sharing his splendid energy. In honoring his essence, a quote comes to mind,

    “To live content …to seek elegance rather than luxury; and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.” – William Ellery Channing

    God Bless You, Dear Morgana, and your lovely family! Time will ensure that thoughts of your godfather will bring only smiles to your face and awaken love in your heart with each memory!

    Gil Cates, a fine gentleman and beautiful human being!

    Syllviea Hagen

    1. Morgana Rae says:

      That’s beautiful, Syllviea. Thank you.

  12. Zeno says:

    Dear Morgana,

    Your video inspired me to comment. A lovely tribute. Beautiful to see how touched you were bu Gil Cates. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Morgana Rae says:

      You’re welcome, Zeno. 🙂

  13. Pat says:

    Morgana, I am so sorry for your loss. Gil sounds like an incredible man. You are so right that it all comes down to Love and Joy. And what a wonderful legacy to leave!

  14. Morgana, I was very touched by your tribute. Before watching it I had no idea who Gil Cates was, but now I’ll never forget. It was not so much your words, as the raw emotion that came pouring out of you. It was quite a testimony to this man, that you cared so much for him, that you exposed such tender feelings. Thanks for sharing.

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