President of Warner Bros. Telepictures, Jim Paratore, died of a heart attack Tuesday, during his bike vacation in France.
The 58-year-old TV topper was a huge force in the business, having produced such hit shows as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tyra Banks Show, Lopez Tonight and Extra. Paratore was admired for taking chances and pioneering new ideas, TMZ (which he co-founded) being one of them. Paratore also helped Ellen DeGeneres get back on her feet after coming out as a lesbian, when everyone else had turned their backs on her.
Ellen tweeted Tuesday:
My friend, producer and champion Jim Paratore died today. He gave me a chance when no one would. I love you, Jim.
Tyra Banks, who also benefited from his many endeavors, said:
Jim, I will miss you! You believed in me & were so influential in my career. Thank you for your faith.
Paratore is survived by his wife, daughter, and dozens of celebrities who believe that they owe their legacies to him. It’s not often that Hollywood executives are remembered so fondly and though Paratore may not have been the most famous producer around, he certainly seems to have done his job and leaves a resounding mark in TV.