Film and television executive and producer Greg Coote has died in Los Angeles at the age of 72. He had been ill with cancer.
Australian-born Coote started his career in the mailroom at Village Roadshow and worked his way up to become managing director. He then left the company to become managing director of Rupert Murdoch‘s Network Ten in 1981. At Ten he was integral in boosting the network’s rating position — leading with big-budget dramas and mini-series including The Dismissal, Waterfront, The Last Bastion, The Dunera Boys, The Cowra Breakout and Bodyline. The network was also boosted by a higher news and sports profile and the launch of popular light entertainment programs, including Perfect Match.
By the mid-1980s Coote had left Ten and partnered with Roadshow and Matt Carroll to form production company Roadshow Coote And Carroll, responsible for TV productions including Archer, The Challenge, A Long Way From Home, Army Wives, Brides Of Christ, Law Of The Land, Pacific Drive and the long-running ABC series GP.
Coote later became founding president and CEO of the newly-listed Village Roadshow Pictures in Los Angeles. He then became chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment, the company which co-financed more than 60 films, including the hit Avatar.
At the time of his death he was working with Larrikin Entertainment, a production and development venture formed in partnership with David Calvert-Jones.
A funeral for Coote is scheduled for 2 July in Santa Monica with a memorial service to follow in Sydney at a later date.
Greg Coote is survived by partner Amanda Price, brothers, Alan and Paul, four children and four grandchildren as well as his first and second wives.