Showtime’s Co-Head of Content Acquisitions Gary Garfinkel Dies at 55

Executive passed away from an illness at his home on Friday

Gary Garfinkel, co-head of content acquisitions at Showtime Networks, has died at the age of 55.

The executive passed away of an illness at his home surrounded by family, the company said in a statement on Friday.

“Gary was one of the most warm and welcoming people I’ve known, and was beloved by everyone who worked with him at Showtime over the past 25 years,” Showtime president and CEO David Nevins said in a statement.

Along with Kent Sevener, Garfinkel was responsible for the acquisition of feature films, documentaries, stand-up comedy, specials and music programs for all of Showtime Networks’ services. During his time with Showtime, Garfinkel was responsible for a dramatic increase in stand-up comedy on the network, expanding the portfolio to 39 comedy specials in 2012, under the “Laugh Out Loud” on-air banner.

“He was a great warrior and advocate for our company and worked hard to bring the best content to our service,” Nevins continued. “In particular, many stand-up comedians credit Gary for giving them the early exposure that made their careers. He played a key role in cementing Showtime as a major premium network, and all of us who worked with him valued his taste, his counsel and his integrity. We will miss him terribly.”

Garfinkel originally joined Showtime in 1993 as senior vice president of film acquisitions. He previously worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment as an international business analyst and in New York at Salomon Brothers Inc. as a foreign exchange analyst.