For­mer Paramount Pic­tures CEO Brad Grey dies at 59

Cape Breton Post - - In Memoriam -

Brad Grey, an in­flu­en­tial Hol­ly­wood leader who served as the chair­man and CEO of Paramount Pic­tures for 12 years, has died.

A fam­ily spokes­woman said Mon­day that Grey, who was bat­tling cancer, died Sun­day at his home in Los An­ge­les. He was 59.

Be­fore ex­it­ing Paramount in Fe­bru­ary, Grey over­saw fran­chises like “Star Trek,’’ ‘’Trans­form­ers” and ‘’Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble,” pres­tige prop­er­ties like ‘’There Will Be Blood,” ‘’No Coun­try for Old Men,” ‘’Up in the Air,” ‘’The Big Short,” ‘’The Cu­ri­ous Case of Ben­jamin But­ton” and ‘’Ba­bel,” and mul­ti­ple films from Martin Scors­ese in­clud­ing ‘’The Wolf of Wall Street,” ‘’Shut­ter Is­land” and ‘’Hugo.”

Grey also pro­duced Scors­ese’s “The De­parted,’’ which won Best Pic­ture in 2007.

Dur­ing his sto­ried ca­reer in the en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness, Grey founded the man­age­ment and pro­duc­tion com­pany Brill­stein-Grey En­ter­tain­ment with the late Bernie Brill­stein, co-founded the pro­duc­tion com­pany Plan B En­ter­tain­ment with Brad Pitt and Jen­nifer Aniston, and pro­duced mul­ti­ple Emmy Award-win­ning tele­vi­sion shows, in­clud­ing “The So­pra­nos,’’ ‘’Real Time with Bill Ma­her” and ‘’The Larry San­ders Show.”

His Hol­ly­wood peers and col­leagues of­fered their re­mem­brances on Mon­day.

Di­rec­tor Ava Du­Ver­nay, who worked with Grey on “Selma,’’ wrote on Twit­ter that she had din­ner with him prior to the film’s re­lease.

“Fab sto­ries. Good laughs. And shrewd ad­vice that I still use,’’ Du­Ver­nay wrote. “May his soul be at rest.’’

“G.I. Joe: Re­tal­i­a­tion’’ di­rec­tor John Chu called Grey, “A re­ally good man. Kind & classy and a

hel­luva boss.’’

“Oh man the world has lost a gen­tle­man,’’ Chu wrote on Twit­ter.

Cur­rent Paramount Pic­tures CEO Jim Gianop­u­los also re­leased a state­ment Mon­day.

“All of us at Paramount are deeply sad­dened by the news of Brad Grey’s pass­ing,’’ Gianop­u­los said. “I was proud to call Brad a friend, and one I greatly ad­mired. He will be missed by us all, and left his mark on our in­dus­try and in our hearts.’’

Vi­a­com Pres­i­dent and CEO Bob Bak­ish said he was, “An ex­tra­or­di­nary tal­ent with a pas­sion and gift for sto­ry­telling that won’t be for­got­ten.’’

Sum­ner and Shari Red­stone, in a joint state­ment noted how Grey’s “tremen­dous kind­ness and tal­ent in­spired so many of us

in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.’’

“As a pro­ducer and in­dus­try leader, Brad brought great sto­ry­telling to au­di­ences around the world,’’ added MPAA Chair­man and CEO Chris Dodd in a state­ment. “His con­tri­bu­tions to the cre­ative com­mu­nity will be en­joyed for years to come.’’

Among his achieve­ments at Paramount, Grey was at the helm for the re­lease of the top­gross­ing film in the stu­dio’s his­tory, “Trans­form­ers: Dark of the Moon,’’ led the ac­qui­si­tion of DreamWorks SKG, and shep­herded the dis­tri­bu­tion agree­ment with Marvel, re­leas­ing “Iron Man, ‘’Iron Man 2,” ‘’Thor” and ‘’Cap­tain Amer­ica” be­fore The Walt Dis­ney Com­pany ac­quired Marvel Stu­dios in 2009.

Re­cently, how­ever, the stu­dio had strug­gled with un­der­whelm­ing

box of­fice re­ceipts for films in­clud­ing “Zoolan­der 2’’ and “Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles: Out of the Shad­ows,’’ and counted losses of nearly $450 mil­lion last year, lead­ing to his exit in Fe­bru­ary.

Born in New York in 1957, Grey started out in the en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness as an as­sis­tant to Har­vey We­in­stein, who was then a con­cert pro­moter. His first client was co­me­dian Bob Saget, and his part­ner­ship with comics, in­clud­ing the late Garry Shan­dling, helped make his name in the busi­ness.

Grey is sur­vived by his wife, Cas­san­dra Grey, their son, Jules, three chil­dren from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage, Sam, Max and Emily, his mother Bar­bara Schum­sky, his brother, Michael Grey, and his sis­ter Robin Grey.

AP PHOTO

Paramount CEO Brad Grey at­tends a spe­cial screen­ing of “Fences” in New York. Grey, who served as the chair­man and CEO of Paramount Pic­tures for 12 years, has died. A fam­ily spokesper­son said Mon­day that Grey, who was bat­tling cancer, died Sun­day at his home in Holmby Hills. He was 59.

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