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Slain publicist was a fixture in industry

November 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Ronni Chasen, the 64-year-old publicist shot and killed in her car early Tuesday, was a fixture in the world of publicity, driven to tirelessly promote the stars she represented.Eyewitness News' entertainment reporter George Pennacchio was frequently on the receiving end of those efforts and he said when it came to her clients, Chasen never gave up going to bat for them.

For years she would call Pennacchio, excited about her longtime client, composer Hans Zimmer.

"She always had a pitch," he said, "and if I said, 'Ronni we already did that story,' she'd quickly respond, 'That was five years ago. No one remembers.' And she was probably right."

On the night of her murder she had attended the premier of "Burlesque" and had been hard at work promoting the film's soundtrack for awards. She was also reportedly working on the Oscar campaign for Michael Douglas for his performance in "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps."

She was a publicist for major movies, including "Slumdog Millionaire," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "On Golden Pond."

She was also a mentor of sorts, forging a path for other women in the industry.

On Tuesday, A-list publicist Kelly Bush released this statement: "All of us in personal publicity are devastated by this tragic loss. Ronni was a terrific publicist, blazing a trail for women in this business like few others. I greatly admired and respected her."

Paul Bloch, co-chairman of Rogers and Cowan, where Ronni once worked said: "She was a powerhouse in the industry. She was as good as it gets. She was a great woman and a brilliant publicist."