Ronni Chasen, 64, Shot and Killed in Beverly Hills

Ronni Chasen - 2005
John Heller/NFL

The famed publicist crashed into a light pole at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Famed publicist Ronni Chasen died after being shot five times in Beverly Hills early Tuesday morning.

Chasen then crashed her Mercedes-Benz into a light pole around 12:30 a.m.

Ed Winter, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County coroner's office, confirms her death to The Hollywood Reporter. An autopsy will be completed Wednesday or Thursday.

A Beverly Hills Police spokesperson tells THR: "On November 16th 2010 at approximately 12:28 a.m. Beverly Hills police officers received info regarding shots that were heard in the area of Sunset and Whittier, shortly after a collision was reported in the same area. Units arrived and discovered a newer black Mercedes Benz E-350 involved in a solo crash to the light pole. The lone female occupant was located in the vehicle with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. Beverly Hills paramedics transported the victim to a local hospital where she was later pronounced deceased. The investigation is in the preliminary stages and no further information is available at this time. At this time there is no suspect, info or motive for this crime."

A spokesman from the Beverly Hills police department added that some search warrants have been issued as a matter of routine, a forensic examination of the car is underway and "our detectives are looking at all aspects of this crime." He said the investigation is in its "infancy" and the police are not putting forward any theories regarding the murder at this time.

"It's an unusual incident for the City of Beverly Hills," he added.

Police called to the scene said Chasen was "in and out of consciousness, but breathing,"  according to She was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Earlier that night, Chasen -- as always a presence on the red carpet eagerly tending to her clients' interests -- attended the premiere of Burlesque.

Chasen began her career as a publicist in 1973, and worked on films such as 1989's Driving Miss Daisy and 1997's Lolita.

In February 1993, she was named senior vice president of worldwide publicity at MGM.

"I was both delighted and surprised when MGM approached me about this position," Chasen said then. "I've given this very careful thought, and, although I will miss working with my personal clients on a day-to-day basis, I look forward to this new opportunity with great enthusiasm ... this will be a very exciting period for the company, and I am delighted to join the MGM team."

Chasen also worked for Rogers & Cowan for a number of years.


Chasen, one of whose specialities was orchestrating Academy Awards in the music categories, was most recently working on Sony Pictures’ awards campaigns on behalf of The Social Network, Burlesque and Country Strong. Her clients included producers like Richard and Lili Zanuck and Irwin Winkler as well as numerous music figures like composer Hans Zimmer  and songwriter Diane Warren, who has a song in Burlesque.

She also recently attended the 37th annual Ghent Film Festival, which she also represented.

She is survived by her brother Larry Cohen, the writer/director behind such films as The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover and Q.

"Ronni was a dear friend and cherished member of our community. She was at our premiere last night and so full of her trademark energy and love of life. We are heartbroken, shocked and completely devastated,” Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures, tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. RELATED: Hollywood power players remember Chasen.

- Gregg Kilday contributed to this report.