Thanks largely to Bernie Brillstein, a larger-than-life industry figure who died in 2008, talent managers were an emergent force in the movie and television business when Mr. Grey came on the scene in the early 1980s. Mr. Brillstein took Mr. Grey under his wing in 1984 — Mr. Grey had a couple of his own management clients, including two comedians who were relatively unknown at the time, Garry Shandling and Bob Saget — and they began to blend the art of management with television and film production.
Instead of relying on studios to offer its clients jobs, Brillstein-Grey started to create the jobs itself, leading to groundbreaking television series like “The Larry Sanders Show,” starring Mr. Shandling, who died last year, and later “The Sopranos.” (To avoid conflicts of interest, agents negotiate deals with producers and studios and do not produce; managers, in contrast, help nurture, guide and produce.)
“Brad helped forge a new paradigm in representing artists,” Jon Liebman, chief executive of Brillstein Entertainment Partners, which remains the gold standard of management companies, said in a phone interview.
Mr. Grey was closely associated with entertainment that dealt with the Mafia.
“The Sopranos,” which was created by David Chase and chronicled the sometimes mundane lives of New Jersey mobsters, became a cultural phenomenon and helped initiate the boom in high-quality cable dramas. Mr. Grey was credited as an executive producer. He was also a producer of “The Departed,” Martin Scorsese’s film about a Boston mob boss. It won four Academy Awards in 2007, including one for best picture.
For a man who spent so much of his career tending to relationships, Mr. Grey had a notable number of associations that turned sour. Mr. Shandling sued him for $100 million in 1998, claiming breach of duties. Mr. Grey countersued, and the squabble escalated, drawing