Longtime writing coach Jack Gilbert, who was director of the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop, died Monday of pneumonia. He was 62. Gilbert was also a teacher and mentor at Act One, which trains Christians for a career in the mainstream entertainment industry. As attested to in the emotional tributes posted in the last few days, Gilbert was known as a nurturing and passionate instructor, who encouraged his students to study classic literature and who had an annual ritual of screening his favorite Warner Bros. film, Casablanca, every year on his birthday. Funeral plans are pending.
(UPDATE: A memorial service will be held for Jack Gilbert, at 11:00 Saturday, May 12, at Bel Air Presbyterian Church, 16221 Mulholland Drive. In accordance with his family’s wishes, a scholarship fund for educating Christian screenwriting students has been set up in Gilbert’s name at Azusa Pacific University, where he was a screenwriting professor. Donations can be mailed to: Azusa Pacific University, University Advancement, 901 E. Alosta Avenue, Azusa, CA 91702. Write “Gilbert Memorial Scholarship” in the memo line.)