Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ronni Chasen Memorialized By Her New York Friends


Ronni Chasen, our beloved pal, so coldly and brutally murdered two days ago, was memorialized last night by her New York friends.

Producer Scott Rudin and long time publicity maven Kathie Berlin rounded up Ronni’s pals and brought them to the back room of Michael’s restaurant on West 55th St.

Among the teary eyed guests was actor Bob Balaban and composer Elliot Goldenthal. Harvey Weinstein paid an unexpected visit; he and Rudin set aside their differences in deference to Ronni.

Publicists and journalists from all over the city poured in and shared stories about Ronni including how she got her name. The New York Times’s Paula Schwartz divined from Ronni’s ex sister- in-law (they were still great friends) that the famed publicist had borrowed “Chasen” from the famed Hollywood restaurant Chasen’s. D’uh! It was a witty choice on Ronni’s part. Otherwise she’d have been Ronni Cohen.

Kathie Berlin, who worked at Rogers & Cowan eons ago with Ronni, was the only speaker. She recalled how Ronnie was at Warren Cowan‘s hospital bedside when he passed away. She also said that recently when someone had asked the old friends how long they’d known each other, Berlin replied: “forty years.” Chasen, she said, piped up: “25!”

“Ronni would not have been happy to see her age in the newspaper,” Berlin laughed.

Many of the guests are heading west for Ronni’s funeral on Sunday in Los Angeles. And while our memorial was the first of many ways to say goodbye to a friend, this is just the beginning. There are more questions than answers about what happened to her on Monday night at the corner of Sunset and Whittier in Beverly Hills. And this is a group of friends who want answers.

PS No fund has been set up in memory of Ronni Chasen. If anyone solicits money or requests donations of any kind, this a fabrication. One Hollywood publicist has been rumored to have asked for checks made out in his name. This is quite shameful. Ronni is survived by her brother, veteran Hollywood screenwriter Larry Cohen, and his five children.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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