You may not know the name Brad Grey, but if you’re a fan of TV and movies, you’re almost certainly familiar with his work.
Grey passed away Sunday night after 12 years as head of Paramount Studios and several decades in Hollywood at the helm of some of the true classics of the modern era.
He was 59 years old.
News of Grey’s death was confirmed by reps for the mogul.
Sources say he passed away at home surrounded by friends and family after a long battle with cancer.
Despite his illness, Grey stayed on at Paramount until early this year, when his condition forced him to step down.
After starting out as a gofer for Harvey Weinstein and concert promoter in Buffalo, NY, Grey made the jump to Hollywood in
Grey made the leap to Hollywood in the early ’80s, partnering with Bernie Brillstein to found the Brillstein-Grey production company.
Together, Brillstein and Grey produced such film hits as The Wedding Singer, and such and TV classics as The Sopranos, The Larry Sanders Show and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.
Prior to assuming the role of chairman/CEO at Paramount, Grey partnered with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to form Plan B Productions.
The short-lived company helped to green-light a pair of Warner Bros. hits: Martin Scorsese’s The Departed and Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The list of commercial and critical hits overseen by Grey during his time at Paramount is too lengthy to reproduce here, but highlights include:
How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek the Third, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, An Inconvenient Truth, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Babel, Shutter Island, Up in the Air, The Fighter, True Grit, and Hugo.
As a studio chief who delivered record profits while maintaining a commitment to artistic integrity, Grey was viewed by many of his colleagues as a refreshing throwback to a bygone Hollywood era, when producers cared about more than just the bottom line.
As a philanthropist and human being, those who knew Grey best say his kindness was unmatched.
He is survived by his wife, Cassandra Huysentruyt, and three children, Sam, Max, and Emily.