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Gary Austin

  • Birthplace: Duncan, Oklahoma
  • Birthday: October 18
Date of passing: 
April 01, 2017

Gary Austin was the founder of the Los Angeles-based improv theater The Groundlings. He was also a teacher, writer and director.

After college, Austin became a stage manager for the L.A. branch of the San Francisco improv group The Committee. He later worked at The Comedy Store and performed stand-up comedy before gathering a group of actors and starting the Gary Austin Workshops.

In 1974, Austin created The Groundlings, composed of members from his workshops.

The group has since launched the careers of Conan O'Brien, Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Kristen Wiig, Paul Reubens and many more.

Gary Austin was the founder of the Los Angeles-based improv theater The Groundlings. He was also a teacher, writer and director.

After college, Austin became a stage manager for the L.A. branch of the San Francisco improv group The Committee. He later worked at The Comedy Store and performed stand-up comedy before gathering a group of actors and starting the Gary Austin Workshops.

In 1974, Austin created The Groundlings, composed of members from his workshops.

The group has since launched the careers of Conan O'Brien, Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Kristen Wiig, Paul Reubens and many more.

In addition to appearing in the films Steelyard Blues, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie and Wildcats, Austin directed the television special Lily, starring Lily Tomlin.

Austin died April 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. He was 75.

 

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