Tony Lynn Dies: Former Showtime, Playboy Entertainment Executive Was 66

Anthony (Tony) Lynn, whose four-decade career in the entertainment industry included executive positions at Showtime, Playboy Entertainment Group and MGM Telecommunications, died Dec. 1 following a brief battle with cancer. He was 66.

Lynn, whose death was confirmed by Showtime, got his professional start in the fledgling cable TV industry, including a cable system in Elmira, New York; the then-called Home Box Office; and Columbia Pictures.

In 1987, Lynn joined MGM Telecommunications as President, Worldwide Television, Video, and Film Distribution. He stayed with MGM through four sales, and then in 1992 became President of the Playboy Entertainment Group, where he established 25 joint ventures for Playboy-branded networks in over 100 countries over the next eight years.

Also while at Playboy, Lynn was the only witness for plaintiff Playboy Entertainment Group in its First Amendment challenge to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Playboy won its challenge at the Supreme Court).

During the legal case, Lynn met – and later married – Mary Ellen Callahan, who served as one of his outside counsel. She is now the Assistant General Counsel for Privacy at The Walt Disney Company.

Lynn was Senior Vice President, Program Distribution for Showtime Networks from 2004-2008, and then established Agile Enterprises, a consulting practice that provided strategy and advice on motion picture and television sales, acquisition, marketing and distribution issues.

In 2017, Lynn was an executive producer of the motion picture The Ottoman Lieutenant starring Michiel Huisman, Hera Hilmar, Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley.

In addition to his wife, Lynn is survived by daughter Megan, son Jeff, and other family.

A memorial service is planned for January 26, 2019 on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood.

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