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A number of former Harvey Weinstein assistants and underlings have moved on to bigger and better things in Hollywood. However, none had reached a perch as high as Brad Grey, who held the post of Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO for 12 years.
While attending the University of Buffalo in the late 1970s, Grey became a gofer for a young Weinstein, who then was a concert promoter in the area after also attending the school in Western New York.
As the news of Grey’s death from cancer at age 59 began to circulate around Hollywood on Monday morning, Weinstein said he was still in a state of shock after first learning the news late Sunday night.
“Honestly, I’m crushed,” he said.
Weinstein recalled a day when his onetime intern showed chutzpah.
“Brad decided on his own initiative one day to pick me up in the airport, in his own car, so I wouldn’t take a cab. The rest was history,” he said. “His genius at picking and identifying talent was unprecedented. His relationships were warm, rich and inventive. Every once a while we would have a fight; a minute later we would resolve it.”
Added Weinstein: “The thing that I was always most impressed about was what a great dad Brad was. Sam, his son, worked for me for a couple of years; he was a chip off the old block. I knew the whole family, and he knew mine. Brad worked in the first Miramax office with Robert Newman and my mother.
“Late last night, Vivi Nevo, who was so close to Brad, called me to tell me the news,” he continued. “I couldn’t sleep knowing he was gone. All I can tell you is that I can’t wait to get on the phone with those of us that loved and worked with him and share Brad stories. We will be laughing for the next month and 10 years to follow.”
Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein’s brother and business partner, said he knew Grey for more than 40 years. “He started out as my and my brother’s assistant,” he said, “and within six months it was clear that we should be working for him and not the other way around. He was destined for great things in this business.”
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