Tributes Paid to Veteran Entertainment Tonight Producer Bonnie Tiegel

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Tributes from celebrities and friends have come flooding in after the death of longtime Entertainment Tonight Senior Producer Bonnie Tiegel on Jan. 23.

The show released this statement: 

"Our entire Entertainment Tonight family is mourning the loss of our dear friend and colleague Bonnie Tiegel. For over 20 years, Bonnie has been the heart and soul of our show and a respected member of the Hollywood community. Her energy, laughter and love will be immensely missed by all who knew her."

In addition, numerous members of the entertainment community shared their memories:

"When I arrived at ET in December, it took me about an hour to realize what an absolute force Bonnie Tiegel was, to the ET staff and to the industry," says Entertainment Tonight Executive Producer Sharon Hoffman. "She was truly a Hollywood legend.  Everyone I've met has a Bonnie story, not just about her formidable and unmatchable work as a producer, but also about what a kindhearted soul she was.  Just today, a member of our technical staff told me Bonnie had quietly been sending care packages to his granddaughter for over a year, after she learned the little girl had leukemia. Over her many years here, she worked tirelessly to make this a great show, but people should really remember Bonnie as an extraordinary example of how to live a life that matters.  I'm lucky I got to meet her. She will be terribly missed."

Photo: ETONLINE

"For a person who worked in Hollywood, there was no light brighter than Bonnie Tiegel's," says Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O'Dell. "She was one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever met. I loved her dearly and will miss her dearly, as so many will. She was an angel on Earth and she just made heaven even better, as was every place Bonnie ever entered." 

"Bonnie was the heart and soul of this show," says Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier. "Words cannot describe how much she will be missed and how much she is loved. She is irreplaceable." 

"Bonnie Tiegel was always a joy in my life as a friend and professional," says former Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart. "I never saw Bonnie without a smile on her face.  At award shows she always had a cell in each ear. I will miss her so, so much."

"Bonnie was the most memorable individual I have ever encountered -- her laugh was infectious, her smile was endearing and her hugs were pure gold," says former Entertainment Tonight host Mark Steines. "I am still trying to process this tremendous loss, which has left a huge void in my heart." 

"Bonnie (or Bon Bon as I called her) was one of the most amazing women I have ever had the privilege of calling a friend," says The Insider host Debbie Matenopoulos. "Bonnie was a powerhouse. She was a force. She had an electric energy that lit up every room she ever walked into. Her joy for life and her life's work was infectious. There wasn't a man, woman or child that met Bonnie that wasn't immediately taken by her and she equally by them. She was one of those few people that comes along once in a lifetime. She always had a way of finding the silver lining in everything. I don't know how she did it sometimes, but she always did. She always called everyone by name -- from interns to executives -- and made everyone feel so special. When in all actuality, SHE was the special one. She never complained, even through the toughest of times.

"And she was the queen of hugs. She gave the best hugs I have ever gotten in my life. Getting a hug from Bon Bon was like feeling hot cocoa run through your body on a cold winter's day. But most important of all, Bonnie was the real deal. In a business that can be accused of being superficial and vapid, Bonnie was the complete opposite.  And THAT is why I loved her so much.  She was one of the most universally loved and respected people in our business.

"People used to say that 'Bonnie knew everyone,' but the truth is, EVERYONE knew Bonnie. Everyone from George Clooney to Morgan Freeman would come up and have 10-minute animated conversations full of laughter and inside jokes before even acknowledging me standing there next to her on the red  carpet with a mic in my hand. In all my years in this business, I've never seen anything like it. This business has lost a true legend, and for everyone who had the honor of knowing Bonnie, we have all lost a true friend.

"Bonnie wasn't just one of the greatest people in the business.....she was one of the greatest people I have ever met on this planet. The only way for me to make any sense of this at all is to believe that Bonnie was too good to be here with us and therefore God took her a little earlier than we would have liked. The world will be forever a little less bright.  I love you, Bonnie Tiegel, and your spirit and spunk will live forever in my heart." 

ETonline Producer and Host Ashley Crossan started out at Entertainment Tonight as Bonnie's assistant.

"Bonnie Tiegel was love personified, an angel from heaven who spread light and joy to anyone lucky enough to cross her path," says The Insider host Louis Aguirre. "She gave the warmest hugs, had the most infectious hearty laugh, and made everyone feel like they were the most important person on the planet. She loved life and life loved her, as did I very much."

"Every day Bonnie walked the ET hallways, she inspired, she mentored, she showed us how to win with the upmost integrity and a generous heart beyond compare," says Entertainment Tonight Co-Executive Producer Rick Joyce. "Today, there is a hole in our collective hearts that will never be filled. People call Hollywood a tough town, but score one big win for goodness and grace with how my friend Bonnie lived and loved the life she shared with us."

"Our morning meeting starts at 6 a.m., but Bonnie always got here early -- like 4:30 a.m. early," remembers Entertainment Tonight senior producer Erin Johnson. "She loved her work. She never stopped working. Even during her yearly vacation, she would be sending emails per usual. The only difference?   She’d sign them 'Mahalo.'   

"Bonnie is an ET legend, and this show wouldn’t be what it is now without her more than two decades of tireless producing. Celebrities know and love her. When she was first diagnosed with cancer, George Clooney called her directly to check in. Every publicist knows and loves her. Every shoot we go on, we always have someone come up to the crew to say, 'Tell Bonnie I said hi.'

"She lived loud and without regret. She made us laugh. She inspired us. She made us feel loved. She treated us like family, always taking a genuine interest in our lives outside of the office. It was common for her to arrange dinner plans for you if she found out you had family visiting from out of town. 

"From the best celeb interviews to the best dinner reservations, Bonnie was always on top of everything. I have learned so much from her. I will always have a voice in my head that says, 'How would Bonnie handle this?' I promise to make her proud. Everyone at ET promises to make her proud."

Tiegel is survived by her husband, Eliot; her son, Kenny, and three granddaughters. 
Photo: ETONLINE
To see Tiegel accepting her Phenomenal Woman Media Award from the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles, please watch the video below.