Brad Grey speaking to students in 2003 in the Center for the
Arts screening room.
Noted UB graduate Brad Grey, ’79, whose career in
entertainment played like its own Hollywood fairytale, passed away
on May 14 at the age of 59.
The Bronx-born Grey rose rapidly from middle-class roots to
Hollywood heights, most recently as chairman and CEO of Paramount,
a post he held from 2005 to February of this year.
UB College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robin Schulze recalled
Grey’s willingness to spend time back on campus to share his
experience with UB students. He spoke to a standing-room-only crowd
of students and faculty in 2003, the year UB awarded him an
“Among his peers, Brad earned a reputation for being a
skilled dealmaker and adventurous creator,” Schulze said.
“When he returned to Buffalo, Brad made time to speak with UB
students, always taking care to answer their questions about the
opulent, yet opaque world of professional moviemaking. We are
grateful for his time and thoughtful support of students. His
legacy as a leader and expert will serve as an example for those
who dare to follow their bliss.”
Grey secured his first job in the entertainment field while
still a UB student majoring in communications and business. He
offered to work for free for Bob and Harvey Weinstein, BA
’01, of Harvey and Corky Productions, a concerts promotion
company in Buffalo. The Weinsteins went on to movie-mogul-dom as
founders in 1979 of Miramax Films, which they sold in 2005 to
Disney for $80 million.
Grey helped produce shows here—his first was a Frank
Sinatra concert—and scouted talent at the Improv comedy club
in Manhattan on weekends. Two of Grey’s earliest clients were
comedian Bob Saget, who he signed while a college senior, and comic
actor Gary Shandling.
After graduating, Grey partnered with talent representative
Bernie Brillstein, forming the management-production company
Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, where Grey developed the HBO
blockbuster “The Sopranos.” Later, he joined Brad Pitt
and Jennifer Aniston in co-founding Plan B Entertainment, where he
produced the Oscar-winning film “The
Grey, who met his first wife, Jill Gutterson Grey, BA ’79,
at UB, is survived by their three children Sam, Max and Emily;
current wife Cassandra Grey and their son Jules; his mother Barbara
Schumsky, brother Michael Grey and sister Robin Grey.