Remembering Brad Grey

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Brad Grey, who led Viacom’s Paramount Pictures for a dozen years and left a rich legacy at the studio, passed away on Sunday evening following a battle with cancer. He was in his home in Holmby Hills, California with his family by his side. He was 59 years old.

“Brad Grey was an extraordinary talent with a passion and gift for storytelling that won’t be forgotten,” said Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish. “He has left an incredible legacy at Paramount and across the entire entertainment industry, from the beloved hit franchises he developed for both film and television, to the countless individuals he mentored and supported throughout his career. All of us at Viacom and Paramount mourn his passing, and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Grey’s commitment to delivering poignant, compelling stories to audiences around the world bolstered the 105-year-old studio’s deep library with films across many genres. Starting with the smash hit Transformers in 2007, Grey guided Paramount into the franchise era with the original Paranormal Activity and continuations of the classic Mission: Impossible and Star Trek series. The studio complemented these releases with a parade of must-see standalone films, including the cerebral Interstellar, the gripping World War Z, and the gonzo Wolf of Wall Street.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27: Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise and Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures Brad Grey attend the New York premiere of "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation" at Times Square on July 27, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 27: Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise and Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures Brad Grey attend the New York premiere of “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” at Times Square on July 27, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Aside from box office success – eight of Paramount’s 10 top-grossing films came over Grey’s tenure – this varied slate earned many accolades for the studio, including at least one Academy Awards Best Picture nominee in 11 of Grey’s 12 years. Most recently, Paramount earned a pair of Oscars in February: Viola Davis took Best Supporting Actress for her work in the widely hailed adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences, while the gorgeous Arrival earned the award for Sound Editing (both earned Best Picture nominations). At the 2008 Academy Awards, Paramount’s No Country for Old Men won four Oscars – Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Paramount Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brad Grey (R) and Cassandra Grey attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Paramount Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brad Grey (R) and Cassandra Grey attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

 

“All of us at Paramount are deeply saddened by the news of Brad Grey’s passing,” said current Paramount Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos. “He was at the helm of the studio for over a decade and was responsible for so many of the studio’s most beloved films. 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.”

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Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone Donates $10 Million to Harvard Law School

Dean Martha Minow and Tommy Lee Jones pose with Sumner Redstone as Harvard Law School hosts a reception in Beverly Hills, CA in honor of Mr. Sumner Redstone's $10 Million endowment to the Sumner M. Redstone Fellowships in Public Service on Thursday, January 9, 2014.(Alex J. Berliner/ABImages).

Dean Martha Minow and Tommy Lee Jones pose with Sumner Redstone as Harvard Law School hosts a reception in Beverly Hills, CA in honor of Mr. Sumner Redstone’s $10 Million endowment to the Sumner M. Redstone Fellowships in Public Service on Thursday, January 9, 2014.(Alex J. Berliner/ABImages).

Harvard University honored Mr. Redstone last week for his $10 million donation to Harvard Law School towards the Sumner M. Redstone Fellowships in Public Service. The gift, the largest ever made to Harvard Law School (HLS) for public service, will fund HLS students who work in the public interest after graduation.  Read More

Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone Donates $20 Million to Motion Picture & Television Fund

Tom Cruise SMR

Tom Cruise, a longtime supporter of the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), joins Chairman of the MPTF Foundation, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Executive Chairman of Viacom and CBS, Mr. Sumner Redstone as he grants a $20 Million gift from the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation to the MPTF Campaign at Paramount Pictures.

This #GivingTuesday, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone embodies the spirit of the holiday season with a big gift to the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) Campaign. The Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation committed $20 million to the Campaign, which was created to build permanent funding for the broad range of social and charitable services that MPTF provides to more than 15,000 entertainment industry workers and their families each year. Read More

Paramount Celebrates Centennial, Dedicates Building to Sumner Redstone

by Ashley Bodul, Paramount Pictures

Philippe Dauman, Brad Grey and Sumner Redstone (from left) attend the Sumner Redstone Building dedication at Paramount Pictures on Friday, June 1.

In a special dedication ceremony that marked the 100th Anniversary of Paramount Pictures, the office building that once served as the studio’s entrance was renamed the Sumner Redstone Building in honor of Viacom’s Executive Chairman of the Board and Founder. Read More

Honoring Sumner Redstone on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

by Neena Koyen, Viacom
Philippe Dauman, Brad Grey, Les Moonves and Sumner Redstone pose together as Sumner Redstone receives a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, March 30, 2012

On Friday, Sumner M. Redstone, Executive Chairman of Viacom and CBS Corporation, was honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

From gathering military intelligence during WWII to creating one of the nation’s first courses in entertainment law to surviving a devastating hotel fire, Mr. Redstone, it seems, has seen and done it all. He built an empire out of his father’s drive-in movie business, serving as CEO of National Amusements since 1967.  Under his leadership, Viacom has become one of the largest entertainment and media companies in the world, and Paramount — Hollywood’s oldest studio currently celebrating its 100th anniversary — closed 2011 as the number-one studio at the worldwide box office. Over the years, Mr. Redstone has also been very active in civic and community affairs.

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Leron Gubler opened the ceremony: “We are delighted today to honor one of the entertainment world’s most respected executives as he is honored with the 2,467th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.” Mr. Gubler also noted the presence of several former Walk of Fame honorees: producers Brian Grazer, Robert Evans and AC Lyles, all of whom have stars located within one block of Mr. Redstone’s.Philippe Dauman, Viacom President and CEO, took the stage to congratulate and honor his friend and colleague, calling him “the King of Content” and “an elemental force of nature.”

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