Brad Grey, former Paramount Pictures CEO, dies at 59

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Former Paramount CEO Brad Grey died Sunday following a battle with cancer.

Grey was previously CEO and chairman of the major movie studio for 12 years before he stepped down in February.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brad Grey, a colleague and friend", said Motion Picture Association of America chairman Chris Dodd.

Before taking on the Paramount job, Grey formed the Plan B production company with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, which began with a first-look deal at Warner Bros., where it producedTim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Martin Scorsese's Oscar best picture victor The Departed. Kind &classy and a helluva boss.

Prior to his Paramount post, Grey co-founded the Brillstein-Grey Entertainment talent management agency with his longtime business partner, Bernie Brillstein.

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

Grey was pushed out at Paramount soon after Bob Bakish came on as the new CEO at parent Viacom to replace Philippe Dauman.

Born in the Bronx, Grey was the youngest child of a NY garment industry salesman.

Among his achievements at Paramount, Grey was at the helm for the release of the top-grossing 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". He left to head up Paramount, but remained collaborators with Pitt for a number of years, as the production company had a first deal look with the studio.

Grey is survived by his wife Cassandra Grey, their son Jules, his three children Sam, Max and Emily from his marriage to Jill (nee Gutterson) Grey, his mother Barbara Schumsky, his brother Michael Grey and his sister Robin Grey.

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