Thursday, May 14, 2020

"The Sopranos" Producer Brad Grey 2017 Hillside Cemetery

Brad Alan Grey (December 29, 1957 – May 14, 2017) was an American television and film producer. He co-founded the Brillstein-Grey Entertainment agency, and afterwards became the chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, a position he held from 2005[1] until 2017. Grey graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management. Under Grey's leadership, Paramount finished No. 1 in global market share in 2011 and No. 2 domestically in 2008, 2009, and 2010, despite releasing significantly fewer films than its competitors.[2][3] He also produced eight out of Paramount's 10 top-grossing pictures of all time after having succeeded Sherry Lansing in 2005.[4]

Early life

Grey was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx,[5][6][7] the youngest child of a garment district salesman. He majored in business and communications at the University at Buffalo.[8] While attending the university, he became a gofer for a young Harvey Weinstein, who was then a concert promoter. The first show Grey produced (at age 20) was a concert by Frank Sinatra at Buffalo's Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in 1978. Grey traveled to Manhattan on weekends to look for young comics at The Improv. Grey brought comedian Bob Saget to New York, thus making Saget his first client.[9]

In 1984, Grey met talent manager Bernie Brillstein in San Francisco, California at a television convention. Having convinced Brillstein that he could deliver fresh talent, he was taken on as a partner and the Bernie Brillstein Company was re-christened Brillstein-Grey Entertainment.[10] Grey began producing for television in 1986 with the Showtime hit, It's Garry Shandling's Show. In the late 1990s, Shandling sued Grey for breach of duties and related claims. Shandling complained that his TV show lost its best writers and producers when Brad Grey got them deals to do other projects, and that Grey commissioned these other deals, while Shandling did not benefit from them. Grey denied the allegations and countersued, saying the comedian breached his contract on The Larry Sanders Show by failing to produce some episodes and indiscriminately dismissing writers, among other actions.[11] 

Both suits were settled avoiding a trial.[12] Shandling did testify about Grey during the 2008 trial of private investigator Anthony Pellicano who worked on Grey's defense team.[13][14] The value of the settlement to Shandling was later disputed by attorneys as being either $4 million or $10 million.[15][16]

In 1996, Brillstein sold his shares of the Brillstein-Grey company to Grey, giving Grey full rein over operations; the company's television unit was subsequently rechristened "Brad Grey Television." Grey produced shows such as Emmy Award-winning The Sopranos and The Wayne Brady Show. Other shows developed in the 1990s under the Brillstein-Grey banner included Good Sports, The Larry Sanders Show, Mr. Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Sopranos, NewsRadio, and Just Shoot Me! Grey also ventured into film by producing the Adam Sandler hit, Happy Gilmore.

In 1996, actress Linda Doucett alleged that Brad Grey and Garry Shandling fired her from The Larry Sanders Show after her personal relationship with Shandling ended.[17] Doucett reportedly received a $1 million settlement in this matter in 1997.

In July 2000 - on the day of Scary Movie’s opening - Grey and Brillstein-Grey were sued by Bo Zenga and his Boz Productions in what became known as the ‘Scary’ suit.[18] Zenga, at the time an unknown bit-part actor [19] “claimed he had an oral agreement with Grey’s management firm Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, giving him equal profits on the film.”[18] ‘Scary Movie’ went on to make $278m worldwide.[20]

The pre-trial discovery process "revealed that major parts of Zenga’s resume were fabricated. Brillstein-Grey said in a court filing that Zenga presented himself as a successful investment banker who became a prize-winning screenwriter to satisfy his creative urges.” [18] “Far from being a successful investment banker, Zenga once filed for personal bankruptcy” [18] and “according to court papers, the only writing award he won was in a phony contest he set up himself.” [18] After denying under oath that he knew who owned the company that ran the contest, Bo Zenga recanted a day later, admitting his ownership of the company and “saying he had been "overmedicated.”” [21] When questioned about “an accusation from his former business partner that he coerced her to lie for him” [18] Zenga “in a highly unusual move for a plaintiff in a film-profits case — asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to answer hundreds of questions.” [18] Bo Zenga's suit was thrown out of court for lack of evidence. L.A. Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien “noted it was only the second time in all his years on the bench that he had granted a non-suit and taken a case away from a jury.” [18]

In 2002, Grey formed Plan B with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, with a first-look deal at Warner Bros. The company produced two films for Warner Bros: Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp, and Martin Scorsese's The Departed, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. After Pitt and Aniston separated, Grey and Pitt moved the company to Paramount Pictures in 2005.[22]

In May 2006 Bo Zenga “filed a new suit against Grey personally," [23] in which he charged Grey with using notorious private investigator Anthony Pellicano to illegally wiretap and conduct illegal background checks on Zenga during the original case. Grey denied any knowledge, testifying that "his dealings with Pellicano “all came through Bert Fields” and that “in every instance” Grey had never been given updates on the investigations by Pellicano." [24] The suit was “dismissed, due to Zenga having lied and to statute of limitations issues.“ [25] Bo Zenga's appeal continued after Grey's death, until that too was dismissed in December 2017.

On October 17, 2017, writer Janis Hirsch alleged that her response to workplace sexual harassment resulted in a meeting with Brad Grey, during which he pressured her to quit her job during the late 1980s.[26]

Paramount Pictures CEO, 2005–2017

Grey was named chief executive officer of Paramount Pictures Corporation in 2005. In his position, Grey was responsible for overseeing all feature film development and production for films distributed by Paramount Pictures Corporation including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Paramount Insurge, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies.[27] He was also responsible for the worldwide business operations for Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Animation, Studio Group and Worldwide Television Distribution.[28]

Among the commercial and critical hit films Paramount produced and/or distributed during Grey's tenure were the Transformers, Paranormal Activity, and Iron Man franchises, Star Trek, 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, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, and Hugo.

During his time as chairman and CEO of Paramount, the studio's films were nominated for dozens of Academy Awards, including 20 in 2011[29] and 18 in 2012.[30]

After arriving at Paramount in 2005, Chairman and CEO Grey was credited with leading a return to fortune at the box office.[31] He oversaw the creation and revitalization of several major franchises, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek, and Paranormal Activity, which was made for $15,000 and generated $192 million at the global box office.[3] Paranormal Activity 2 grossed $177 million worldwide, and the third installment in the franchise collected $205.7 million worldwide in 2011.[32] A fourth installment was released in October 2012. The studio's 2011 results included Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which grossed more than $1.1 billion worldwide, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, whose $694 million global box office tally makes it the most successful entry in that franchise.[33][34] Paramount's 2012 slate included The Dictator which earned $179 million on a $65 million budget.[2][35]

During this period, Paramount forged productive relationships with top-tier filmmakers and talent including J. J. Abrams, Michael Bay and Martin Scorsese.[36]

In 2011, based on the success of Rango, the studio's first original, computer-animated release, Grey oversaw the launch of a new animation division, Paramount Animation.[37]

The 2010 Paramount slate achieved much success with Shutter Island and True Grit reaching the biggest box office totals in the storied careers of Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers, respectively. In addition, during Grey's tenure, Paramount launched its own worldwide releasing arm, Paramount Pictures International, and has released acclaimed films such as An Inconvenient Truth, Up in the Air and There Will Be Blood. The success of Paranormal Activity also led to the creation of a low-budget releasing label Insurge Pictures, which released Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which collected nearly $100 million in worldwide box office revenue.[38]

Grey was ousted from Paramount Pictures shortly before his death, a result of a power struggle between his backers and the family of majority owner Sumner Redstone, along with a series of flops that cost the studio $450 million in losses.[39]


Grey died on May 14, 2017 from cancer at his Holmby Hills home in Los Angeles, California.[40] He was 59.[41][42] He is buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City, California. 


Grey received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from SUNY during a visit to Buffalo and UB in 2003.[43] Grey's Board appointments included:

UCLA's Executive Board for the Medical Sciences[44]
USC School of Cinema-Television Board of Councilors[45]
Board of Directors for Project A.L.S.[46]
NYU's Tisch School of the Arts[47]
Los Angeles County Museum of Art[48]


All films, he was producer unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Notes

1990 Opportunity Knocks Executive producer
1996 Happy Gilmore Executive producer
The Cable Guy Executive producer
Bulletproof Executive producer
1998 The Replacement Killers
The Wedding Singer Executive producer
Dirty Work Executive producer
2000 What Planet Are You From? Executive producer
Screwed Executive producer
Scary Movie Executive producer
2002 City by the Sea
2003 View from the Top
2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2006 The Departed
Running with Scissors
2007 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Executive producer
Final film as a producer

As writer

Year Film Notes

1981 The Burning Original story

Miscellaneous crew

Year Film Notes

1981 The Burning Production consultant


Year Film Notes

2006 Babel The director wishes to thank
2008 Taste of Flesh Direct-to-video - Very special thanks

2010 I'm Still Here Special thanks
TBA The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Special thanks


Year Title Notes

1984 Garry Shandling: Alone in Vegas Television special
1986 The Garry Shandling Show: 25th Anniversary Special Television special - Executive producer
1988 Mr. Miller Goes to Washington Starring Dennis Miller Television special - Executive producer
The Boys Executive producer
1989 The 13th Annual Young Comedians Special Television special - Executive producer
1990 Normal Life Executive producer
Don't Try This at Home! Television film - Executive producer
Dennis Miller: Black and White Television special - Executive producer
Bob Saget: In the Dream State Television special - Executive producer
1986−90 It's Garry Shandling's Show Executive producer
1991 Good Sports Executive producer
1992 The Please Watch the Jon Lovitz Special Television special - Executive producer
The 15th Annual Young Comedians Special Television special - Executive producer
1993 Live from Washington D.C.: They Shoot HBO Specials, Don't They? Television special - Executive producer
1995 Dana Carvey: Critics' Choice Television special - Executive producer
1996 For Hope Television film - Executive producer
Mr. Show with Bob and David: Fantastic Newness Television short - Executive producer
1995−97 The Jeff Foxworthy Show Executive producer
Mr. Show with Bob and David Executive producer
The Naked Truth Executive producer
1997 C-16: FBI Executive producer
1997−98 Alright Already Executive producer
1992−98 The Larry Sanders Show Executive producer
1998 Mr. Show and the Incredible, Fantastical News Report Television short - Executive producer
Applewood 911 Television film - Executive producer
1995−99 NewsRadio Executive producer
2000 Sammy Executive producer
1996−2002 The Steve Harvey Show Executive producer
Politically Incorrect Executive producer
2002 In Memoriam: New York City Documentary - Executive producer
Father Lefty Television film - Executive producer
2001−02 Pasadena Executive producer
2003 My Big Fat Greek Life Executive producer
Married to the Kellys Executive producer
The Lyon's Den Executive producer
Titletown Television film - Executive producer
1997−2003 Just Shoot Me! Executive producer
2004 Three Sisters: Searching for a Cure Documentary - Executive producer
2005 Jake in Progress Executive producer
East of Normal, West of Weird Television film - Executive producer
2004−06 Cracking Up Executive producer
1999−2007 The Sopranos Executive producer
2006−19 Real Time with Bill Maher Executive producer


Award    Year    Work    Category    Ref. 

Emmy 2004 The Sopranos Outstanding Drama Series [49]
Emmy 2007 The Sopranos Outstanding Drama Series [49]
Peabody 1993 The Larry Sanders Show [50]
Peabody 1998 The Larry Sanders Show [51]
Peabody 1999 The Sopranos [52]
Peabody 2000 The Sopranos [53]
PGA 2000 The Sopranos [54]
PGA 2005 The Sopranos Norman Felton Producer of the Year – Episodic [54]
PGA 2008 The Sopranos Norman Felton Producer of the Year – Episodic [54]


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29. "Reuters Jan 25th, 2011". 2011-01-25.
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