Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Jim Paratore

TMZ Founder

Dies at 58

5/29/2012 3:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Jim Paratore
-- the man who founded TMZ and created a slew of hit shows including "Ellen" and "Rosie" -- died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday during a bike trip in France.

Jim was President of Telepictures -- a division of Warner Bros. --  when he dreamed up the idea of getting into the digital business back in 2006.  Jim and Harvey developed the concept of TMZ ... and Jim sold it to the big wigs, which was no small feat.

Jim was a driving force behind and then was critical in creating the TMZ television show. 

Jim was a huge force in the TV business.  After Ellen DeGeneres came out, no one wanted to take a chance on her.  Jim recognized her great talent and literally went station to station across the country and convinced very nervous and reluctant general managers that they should take a chance on her -- that she was a talent who could connect with and touch everyone ... and Jim was right.

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.

Jim is survived by his wife, Jill Wickert, and his daughter, Martinique Paratore.

Everyone at TMZ was touched by Jim's brilliance and the loss is great and painful. 

Jim was 58.


No Avatar

charlei harper    

too to black...that's a wrap...strike the set...we're moving on...RIP

879 days ago


Rest in peace, Jim. I'm sure you were loved by many and will be missed greatly.

879 days ago


My condolences to The Paratore and TMZ Family. I know he will be missed by many especially his family. RIP

879 days ago


My condolences to the Paratore and TMZ family. May he rest in peace.

879 days ago

News Flash     

I'm so sorry for the loss that this show and many others have to endore. My heart goes out to his family and many friends. xo

879 days ago


Why are some of you demanding to hear the 911 call and see dead pictures of the guy? I know TMZ does that to celebrities who have died, but will it make you all feel better if they do put up your requests? If it does, then you are without a doubt a bunch of sick people. I get that you all want the same for one as for all, and when Harvey passes there will be glowing tributes to him, put please just leave they guy and his family alone. He was not a celebrity, just someone who created them.

879 days ago


I am very sorry for your loss.

879 days ago


Sounds like he was a great guy. May he rest in peace.

879 days ago


My deepest condolences.

879 days ago


Hate to lose a-great-mind.

Often wonder.

If the pressures/stress of show biz -

Ages everyone prematurely.


Much respect to his family, to the WB for giving him creative freedom -

To his friend Harvey.

Not a good day but few will match him.

879 days ago


I am sorry for your loss TMZ and his family.

879 days ago

Trevis Miho    

To the family: My condolences.
To TMZ: So, when are you going to have the autopsy photo to plaster for the world to see, or the unseen guy on your show sing a medley making light of his death? When are you going to run into his family on the streets during their time of grieving with a camera to their face? When are you going to put his past medical records up, that are really no one's business but him, his family, and the doctors - or make a big thing about how much money he left behind and who it goes to? What about the pics of his daughter out and about in the wake of her father's death - clubbing, with her boyfriend/husband, etc? All these things feel even disrepectful to type, but I've seen you do all of this with all of our favorite celebs - taking the magic away from people. Just last week you made a "funny" Donna Summer song, then asked if it was too soon..

879 days ago


Sorry to hear this news. Best wishes.

879 days ago

bob kink    

Be sure to get photos of the corpse, the casket, the autopsy, the grieving widow and her kids. Then more photos of the accident, the medical people working on the dying victim and then more of the corpse. Then get those drug tests back and tell everyone. Are the parents still alive? they should be mentioned and questioned. Then get some good photos of the entire family looking at the body in its casket.

879 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web