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Producer Bernie Brillstein Dead of Lung Cancer


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Producer Bernie Brillstein Dead of Lung Cancer


Written by: Ray Padgett

The man behind such hits as “The Blues Brothers,” “Ghostbusters” and “Happy Gilmore” passes at 77.

Bernie Brillstein, longtime Hollywood producer, died Thursday of lung cancer, his company reported. Dealing with complications from a double-bypass heart surgery in February, his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease finally caught up with him, Brillstein Entertainment Papers said in a statement.

Starting his career as a talent agent pushing such names as John Belushi and Jim Henson to the big time, Brillstein headed Hollywood’s most successful management company, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, with current chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures Brad Grey.

"He was talented and brilliant, and hilarious," Grey said. "I have a debt to Bernie for so many reasons that I can never possibly repay. He was my mentor, my partner and my friend. He was like a father to me and he treated me like a son."

Another of those he took under his wing was Lorne Michaels, helping him create Saturday Night Live.

"He loved the action,” said Michaels. “He never wavered in that. He was always a wise and honest voice in my life. He was clear on the hard realities of show business, but he never lost his love of the game."

Michaels and Grey are organizing a memorial service for him in Los Angeles on Monday. Though no details about the service have been released, it could be a who’s who of Hollywood with all the names Brillstein has worked with and promoted, including Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, Nicolas Cage, and Dan Aykroyd.

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