A couple of months ago (March 14th) I ran into Brad Grey at the Wilshire Screening Room. I was there for my second viewing of Cristian Mungiu‘s Graduation.

“Have you seen it?” I asked Grey. He shrugged, shook his head. “You should! It’s brilliant. You know Mungiu…Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days?” Another 20 or 30 seconds of chit-chat and “see ya.” I liked Grey as far as it went. I felt I could talk freely with him. We had spoken at a Paramount lot gathering a few weeks earlier, and again at a pre-Golden Globes party at the Chateau Marmont. He was fairly open and candid at the former event, at least as far as his position (he was still running Paramount) allowed.

And now he’s gone. Cancer. Jesus, he didn’t look ill or anything. A slap to the system. Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues. This came out of nowhere.

Straight from Variety: “Brad Grey, the former Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO, died on Sunday night of cancer. He was 59. His family issued a statement on Monday morning, Los Angeles time:

“Brad passed away yesterday evening at his home in Holmby Hills, his family by his side. The cause of death was cancer. He was 59 years old.

“Brad is survived by his wife Cassandra Grey, their son Jules, his three grown children Sam, Max and Emily from his marriage to Jill (nee Gutterson) Grey, his mother Barbara Schumsky, his brother Michael Grey and his sister Robin Grey.

“There will be a small private funeral service later this week. A memorial service will be scheduled in the coming weeks. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC.”