Tony Award-winning director Gerald Gutierrez has died of respiratory complications from the flu. He was 53. He was found late Monday in his apartment, his brother, Nick Gutierrez, said Tuesday.
Gutierrez began his New York theater career as an actor, but flourished as a director. He won back-to-back Tony Awards in 1995 and 1996 for his direction of revivals of “The Heiress” and “A Delicate Balance.”
“The Heiress,” based on Henry James’ novel “Washington Square,” also brought stardom and a Tony to actress Cherry Jones, and Gutierrez followed that production with Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance,” which starred Rosemary Harris, George Grizzard and Elaine Stritch.
Gutierrez was a mainstay at Lincoln Center Theater where he also directed last season’s lavish revival of “Dinner at Eight” by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. His other Lincoln Center productions included revivals of “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” in 1994; a 1997 revival of Chekhov’s “Ivanov” starring Kevin Kline; and the Jean Anouilh comedy “Ring Round the Moon” in 1999.
He also directed an intimate, two-piano version of Frank Loesser’s “The Most Happy Fella,” which had begun life at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut before moving to Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 1992.
Among Gutierrez’s other Broadway directing credits: “Honour,” Joanna Murray-Smith’s 1998 play about a disintegrating marriage; the 1996 revival of the musical “Once Upon a Mattress,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and “The Curse of an Aching Heart,” a drama by William Alfred, starring Faye Dunaway in 1982.
Gutierrez also had extensive off-Broadway directing credits. He is best-known for having directed Wendy Wasserstein’s comedy “Isn’t It Romantic?” in 1983.
A New York City native, Gutierrez graduated from the Juilliard Drama Division and was a member of the Acting Company, appearing in its productions of “Edward II,” “The Time of Your Life,” “‘Three Sisters” and “The Cradle Will Rock.”
Besides his brother, Gutierrez is survived by two nieces and a nephew.