By: Vickie J. Rubinson
A real-life murder mystery is stumping police in Beverly Hills. Longtime Hollywood publicist Ronnie Chasen, 64, was found in her Mercedes with 5 gunshot wounds early yesterday morning. She died shortly afterward. Chasen was apparently driving when she was shot and her car crashed into a light pole on Sunset Blvd, following the attack, police said. Earlier that night, Chasen attended the premiere and after-party for the movie "Burlesque."
The murder has sent shockwaves through Hollywood and detectives say they haven't yet been able to find any hint of a motive. Chasen, who specialized in Oscar campaigns, worked on promoting move than 100 movies during her long career, including "On Golden Pond," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Wall Street--Money Never Sleeps."
I worked for Ms. Chasen in the early 80's at "Rogers and Cowan Public Relations" and she was one of the top publicists there and represented some of the top talent in town, including singer Janet Jackson, producer Richard Zanuck and George Burns who starred in "The Sunshine Boys," one of my favorite movies. Ronnie knew all of Hollywood's old royalty, most of whom she represented at one time or another.
Her client list included stars, composers and directors like A-list producers Richard Zanuck, Irwin Winkler, Bud Yorkin and Arnold Kopelson. They were clients for decades because they became her close personal friends.