Shonda Rhimes is mourning her “very first champion.”
The Hollywood power player shared her grief and condolences on Twitter after learning of the news that TV executive and longtime friend Suzanne Patmore Gibbs died on Thursday. She was 50.
“She was my very first champion at ABC Studios, the first exec to say “maybe Shonda could write a TV Show.” Then she fought like hell to get us the chance to make the Grey’s Anatomy pilot,” Rhimes tweeted. “No way to describe this loss.”
Patmore Gibbs passed away from complications stemming from a hernia surgery, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was responsible for bringing popular TV shows to millions of homes including Desperate Housewives, Lost, The Blacklist, Masters of Sex and Outlander.
She previously worked for Touchstone TV, ABC Entertainment and Sony Pictures Studios.
Krista Vernoff, the showrunner for Grey’s Anatomy, tweeted out her condolences and dedicated Thursday’s episode to the mother of two.
“I’d like to dedicate tonight’s episode of #GreysAnatomy to Suzanne Patmore Gibbs who fought doggedly to put this series on the air. She was a super talent and funny and wise and deeply supportive friend. I love you, Suzanne.”
Vernoff told THR that Patmore Gibbs “was a fierce advocate for all that is right and good in this world. She fought for women’s voices before it was a popular thing to do. And while male network presidents often receive the credit for her work, Suzanne was the primary creative force behind Grey’s Anatomy ever making it to the air.”
“She was incredibly brave, and she stood up for what she believed in, even when her voice would shake,” Vernoff continued. “She was an extraordinary talent. She was a deeply loving mother. She was a profoundly supportive friend. This is an unimaginable loss.”
Patmore Gibbs is survived by her husband, Stuart, and their two children Dashiell and Violet.