Jerry Frankel, the Tony Award-winning producer who ushered more than 50 new productions to Broadway over the last two decades, died November 17. He was 88.
Frankel's 20-year partnership with fellow producer Jeffrey Richards resulted in nine Tony Award-winning productions, including All The Way (Best Play 2014), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Best Revival of a Play 2012), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Best Revival of a Musical 2012), La Cage aux Folles (Best Revival of a Musical 2010), Hair (Best Revival of a Musical 2009), August: Osage County (Best Play 2007), Spring Awakening (Best Musical 2006), Glengarry Glen Ross (Best Revival of a Play 2005) and Death of a Salesman (Best Revival of a Play 1999).
“To put it simply, Jerry was a class act and all of you who encountered him during his years in our business had to appreciate his forthrightness, great sense of humor, and passion for the theatre. He will be greatly missed,” Richards said in a statement.
Frankel began his prolific Broadway producing career in 1997 with Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s gothic pop thriller Jekyll & Hyde. The critic proof musical launched his partnership with fellow producer Jeffrey Richards—running for nearly four years, spawning lucrative international franchises and a live-capture performance.
In addition to producing theatre, Frankel was a dress manufacturer, film producer, Internet entrepreneur and thoroughbred owner and breeder.
Frankel is survived by his partner Mary Casey and his children: Elizabeth Bailenson, her husband Robert and their children Gabrielle and Lily; Jessica Genick, her husband Lee and their children Jacob and Chloe; his son Gordon and Gordon’s children Ruby and Zoey; and his brother, Ronald Frankel.