Peter Grad, a former television executive and producer who worked at Paramount Television, 20th Century Fox Television and MTM Studios, died of a heart attack early Saturday while vacationing with his family in Vail, Colorado. He was 75.
Born Mar. 22, 1940 in Newark, New Jersey, Grad worked in numerous fields, including engineering, finance, acting and producing before discovering his true calling as a television executive. He began his career at Paramount Television before moving on to 20th Century Fox Television. He also served as president of MTM Studios during his career. Grad is credited with shepherding a number of hits, including “LA Law,” “The Fall Guy,” “Mr. Belvedere” and “Evening Shade.”
Following his retirement from the entertainment business, Grad shifted his attention to raising awareness and support for the Alzheimer’s Association, co-founding and co-chairing the annual A Night at Sardi’s fundraiser with his wife Laurie as a tribute to his late father-in-law, playwright and director Abe Burrows. Over the course of 23 years, the annual event has raised $27 million in donations, drawing the support of stage, TV and film stars who turn out to perform songs from Broadway musicals and legendary composers.
Grad spent the day before his death with his wife of 47 years, enjoying golf, dinner and a concert under the stars with his longtime college friends.
In addition to Laurie, Grad is survived by his son Nick and daughter-in-law Carolyn Bernstein and their children Lucas and Georgia; and his sister Susan Grad Baerwald and her husband Paul, as well as their children. He’s also survived by his brother-in-law, director James Burrows, and his family.
Nick Grad serves as president of original programming and production at FX Networks, while Carolyn is executive vice president at Endemol Shine Studios.
A memorial celebration will take place in mid-August. Contributions in Peter’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual A Night At Sardi’s fundraiser.