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Hollywood Reels Over Brad Grey Death: ‘A Helluva Boss’

Jon M. Chu, James Gunn, Martin Scorsese, Jim Berkus and more remember the 59-year-old mogul

Hollywood is reeling from the sad and shocking news of Brad Grey’s death.

The 59-year-old show business mogul died of cancer at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, a brief Monday morning announcement said — taking all but his very close friends and family by surprise.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our friend, Brad Grey, whose tremendous kindness and talent inspired so many of us in the entertainment industry,” said Shari and Sumner Redstone, who control Paramount Pictures’ corporate parent Viacom.

“His vision and leadership at Paramount Pictures brought iconic films and programs to audiences around the world. We are so grateful for Brad’s friendship and we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Cassandra, and their family,” they said.

“Brad has been a driving force in our business as long as I can remember,” wrote NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer. “His lasting influence on film and television will be felt worldwide for many years to come and by all of us who were fortunate enough to know and respect him. He was a close friend of mine for 35 years and he will be greatly missed.  Our hearts go out to his family.”

“Brad Grey was a true friend, and he genuinely loved movies,” director Martin Scorsese said in a statement. “Our professional relationship started with ‘The Departed,’ which he basically shepherded into existence–sadly, he is uncredited as a producer on that picture, but that’s the title he deserved. He and I worked together on every picture I made since — all the way through ‘Silence,’ and he was always extremely protective of the creative process, very careful to keep it separate from all infighting and financial entanglements–in other words, the business. Like so many of Brad’s friends, I’m in a state of shock.”

Jim Berkus, chairman of United Talent Agency said: “Brad Grey was a colleague, collaborator and, most importantly, a great friend. As a talent executive, he fought for his clients and helped stretch the boundaries of tradition to enable his clients to do great things. As a studio executive, he was committed to making movies that would stand the test of time. He created a legacy in our industry that will have a lasting impact. All of UTA mourns his loss, and we will miss him greatly.”

“Brad was a grand partner and colleague,” David Chase, the creator of “The Sopranos,” on which Grey was an executive producer, wrote. “His taste was exquisite, he was so intelligent. When you went to pitch with Brad, it was actually fun. He had such confidence underneath a cool, amused exterior. The thing I will remember most about Brad is his generosity. He loved movies, he loved entertainment, he loved life. He loved his success and he made sure to share it with the people who surrounded him. I’m going to miss him terribly.”

“He was really a good man,” director Jon M. Chu said in a tweet. The filmmaker helmed an adaptation of the G.I. Joe franchise for Paramount during Grey’s tenure.

“Kind [and] classy and a helluva boss,” Chu said. ‘The world has lost a gentleman.”

More to come. Read the social media reactions, updating live: