"I am a huge fan of Chris Rock," Cates said. "He always makes me laugh and he always has something interesting to say. Chris represents the best of the new generation of comics."
It will be the first time out as Oscars host for Rock, who made his screen debut in the 1987 action-comedy "Beverly Hills Cop II." His other screen credits include "Lethal Weapon 4," "Down to Earth" and the upcoming remake of "The Longest Yard."
Rock is a three-time Emmy-winner for "The Chris Rock Show" and his "Bring the Pain" comedy special on HBO, and a two-time Grammy winner for Best Spoken Comedy Album.
The 77th Academy Awards will be presented on Feb. 27, 2005, at the Kodak Theatre Hollywood, in ceremonies to be televised live over ABC.