Jim Paratore, who co-founded TMZ and produced Ellen, Extra, The Bachelor, Lopez Tonightand many other TV shows, has died at 58. According to TMZ, Paratore was biking in France when he died from an apparent heart attack.
Paratore was president of Warner’s Telepictures from 1992 to 2006. He co-founded TMZ with Harvey Levin in 2006.
TMZ said yesterday, “Jim was a triple threat — an amazingly creative guy who never let convention get in the way of a good idea. He was also a great producer who could execute the ideas that were in his head. And he was the best salesman in the world — Jim could convince anyone of anything.”
Paratore helped Ellen DeGeneres get her show off the ground after she came out and had difficulty getting work.
Ellen tweeted, “My friend, producer and champion Jim Paratore died today. He gave me a chance when no one else would. I love you, Jim.”
Leeza Gibbons tweeted, “Jim hired me. Thoughts r w/ his wife & daughter,” while Tyra Banks said, “Jim, I will miss you! You believed in me & were so influential in my TV career. Thank you for your faith.”
And George Lopez said, “See you on the other side Jim Paratore .. I love you brother!”
Jim is survived by his wife, Jill Wickert, and his daughter, Martinique Paratore.