Former Sony Pictures chairman and CEO John Calley has died. He was 81.

Calley headed three US majors – also leading Warner Bros and MGM  during a distinguished career that also saw him produce a wide roster of films from The Da Vinci Code to Catch-22.

“John Calley was more than a mentor and boss – he was the most extraordinary and generous friend,” Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal. “He had a steely business mind and the soul of an artist.”

“John Calley was a genuine legend as an executive, producer and passionate lover of the art of filmmaking,” chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said. “We know the entire community shares in our deep sadness over his passing.”

A memorial will take place at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City and final details are being planned.

Calley is survived by his daughter Sabrina Calley and step-children Emily Zinnemann, David Zinnemann (Amy) and Will Firth from his marriage to Meg Tilly.