Jim Paratore, a founder of TMZ--the site which consistently beats everyone to the punch when it comes to reporting celebrity deaths--has apparently died of a heart attack at the age of 58.
Say what you want about TMZ, Paratore created a site and news outlet, along with former TV producer and lawyer Harvey Levin, which has consistently scooped bigger operations on the deaths of Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith and more recently, Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. But before creating TMZ, he was also a driving force behind the Ellen show. We'll let TMZ (with a little help of Ellen DeGeneres) take the honors:
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.
His list of credits is endless. On his watch, a slew of shows were produced, including "The People's Court," "The Bachelor," "Extra," "Judge Mathis" and on and on.
He was also hilarious.
and Ellen's Response:
My friend, producer and champion Jim Paratore died today. He gave me a chance when no one else would. I love you, Jim.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 29, 2012