Well Done, Jack Gilbert: Beloved Hollywood Mentor, Young Life Leader, and Friend (1950-2012)

One of Hollywood’s greatest ‘stars’ is promoted to the heavens

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the heavens as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

-Philippians 2:14

 by Gary David Stratton  • Senior Editor

Jack Gilbert, beloved Act One Faculty Member and legendary Young Life leader went into the presence of the Lord this evening. A virulent pneumonia attack seriously damaged his lungs resulting in irreparably low blood oxygen levels.

Jack devoted his entire life to mentoring and teaching the next generation.  As a Young Life leader in Ohio, Jack helped lead innumerable high school students to faith. Best-selling author Kelly Monroe Kullberg (Finding God at Harvard) writes:

“Jack was one of the Ohio youth group leaders who led me to Christ. Many can say the same thing of him. We love him dearly.”

In Hollywood, Jack served as the Director of the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop, perhaps the entertainment industry’s most prestigious writing program, and taught screenwriting at numerous colleges, including: Regent University (VA), Azusa Pacific University (CA), Columbia College (IL), and The Los Angeles Film Study Center. Jack was instrumental in establishing the Premise prayer gatherings, and Act One’s TV Track Writing Program that placed many writers in network writing workshops and television shows.

Jack worked for me while I was Executive Director at Act One, but he is the one who  has mentored me over the past four years. In our ongoing long lunches at Sharky’s Mexican Grill at Hollywood and Cahuenga (Jack is on a first name basis with everyone there) he never ceased to amaze me with insight into life in Christ, and what it takes to make it as a Christian in the entertainment industry.

While he was never shy when it came to complaining about a poorly written script, Jack was a true peacemaker at heart. In a Hollywood community that seems to relish dishing on one another at will, I never heard Jack say a negative word about anyone… ever!  His faith and faithfulness have been an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

In a very dark town, Jack blazed like a star as he held forth the word of life.

Janet Batchler, who was with Jack nearly this entire week gave this loving tribute our Casablanca-loving friend:

“There is a hole in the universe tonight.

RIP, Jack Arthur Gilbert. March 6, 1950 – March 26, 2012.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Jack was our best friend, he was our best man, he was our children’s godfather. I cannot imagine a world without him.

Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Hollywood weeps tonight, but the angels in heaven are rejoicing for the life of this truly remarkable man.

“Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of one of his saints.” -Psalms 116:15


UPDATE: Jack’s Memorial Service. is scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 11:00 a.m., at Bel Air Presbyterian Church, 16221 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles 90049. All are invited.

2 Replies to “Well Done, Jack Gilbert: Beloved Hollywood Mentor, Young Life Leader, and Friend (1950-2012)”

  1. I’ve know Jack for so so many years and though we were only in contact once a year knowing he was there was somehow soothing, sort of a touchbase for me. I will miss him so so very much.

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