Senior Paramount Executive Dies of Apparent Suicide

Studio licensing SVP David Thornton was discovered near his California home on Wednesday

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A longtime Paramount Pictures executive is dead of an apparent suicide, TheWrap has learned.

David Thornton, 60, was a Senior Vice President in licensing at the studio. He was an 18-year veteran who began his career at Paramount Parks in 1998.

Thornton’s body was discovered Wednesday by two hikers on a trail close to his Valencia, California, home, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed in multiple reports. The executive suffered a gunshot wound to the head, and a semi-automatic handgun was found close to his body.

“David was passionate about his work, his colleagues and being part of Paramount. We are saddened by his passing and offer our condolences to his family,” a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement.

Thornton was a graduate of Pomona College. He was a guest lecturer at the California Institute of the Arts, and a member of the Themed Entertainment Association.