Ronni ChasenThe murder of veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen early Tuesday morning in Beverly Hills played out like a scene in one of the movies she may have promoted over her long career. While apparently on her way home from a post-premiere party for the upcoming Cher movie 'Burlesque,' Chasen had just turned left off famous Sunset Blvd. onto a side street heading toward Wilshire when someone fired five bullets into her chest. The shots shattered the passenger side window of her Mercedes, which then crashed against a residential light pole.

To those of us who worked with her over the years, news of Ronni's death would have come as a shock regardless of the cause. At 64, she was the same persistent bundle of energy that had been working the phones for her clients for decades. If memory serves, I first met her when she was arranging interviews with George Burns for the 1970 hit 'The Sunshine Boys.'

During the next 20 years, while I was moving from the Detroit Free Press to USA Today to the L. A. Times, she kept my phone numbers fresh in her Rolodex and on countless occasions, she managed to talk me into interviews with her clients and -- unusual among publicists -- gave me occasional tips for stories that had nothing to do with her.
categories Columns