In a statement to the media, Coote's family said, “To his community, Greg Coote was an extraordinary leader and advocate for the arts in the public schools. He founded an arts endowment campaign to fund arts programs in perpetuity and to create a model for other school districts around the state and country. He was a generous and strong individual who was able to bring people along with him when it came to making sure that the arts remained part of the public school curriculum.”
Here is a poem by W.H. Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was our North, our South, our East and West,
Our working week and our Sunday rest,
Our noon, our midnight, our talk, our song;
We thought that love would last for ever: We were wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
He is survived by his girlfriend Amanda Pryce, two brothers, four children, four grandchildren, and his first and second wives. His funeral will take place on Wednesday, July 2, in Santa Monica, with a second service as yet unscheduled in Sydney, Australia.
The former CEO of Dune Entertainment and Village Roadshowchief died today of cancer in Los Angeles. Greg Coote was 72. He was a key player in the emergence of the Australian film industry, starting in the mailroom at Aussie distributor Village Roadshow and working his way up to Managing Director. “Greg was a champion of Australian films from the early 1970s, and he continued being a great supporter of Australian filmmakers,” said Screen Producers Australia president Brian Rosen. After a stint at Ten Network during which its ratings soared, Coote relocated to LA as President of Columbia Pictures’ international division, where he oversaw worldwide distribution, acquisitions and marketing. He later became the founding President and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures in Los Angeles, and the company helped finance films including The Matrix. Later, when Coote was Chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment, the company co-financed dozens of movies including Avatar, which went on to be the top-grossing film in history.
Coote also chaired China Lion Film Distribution and ScreenSingapore; served as a non-executive director of Bollywood producer Eros International; partnered with Leon Tan in the Malaysian-based DragonSlate; and was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the advisory board of the Singapore Government’s Media Development Authority. He teamed with David Calvert-Jones to launch the Century City-based development and production company Larrikin Entertainment, working there until his death. A funeral is set for July 2 at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica.