Season 21 of 'The Bachelorette' Honors the Memory of ABC Executive Stephanie Leifer

Season 21 of 'The Bachelorette' honors the memory of Stephanie Leifer, a longtime ABC executive who passed away from cancer on June 27, 2024.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Jul. 9 2024, Published 11:10 a.m. ET

The Season 21 premiere of 'The Bachelorette' ends with a tribute for Stephanie Leifer, an ABC executive who passed away in June 2024.
Source: ABC

Season 21 of The Bachelorette has finally hit our TV screens, and Jenn Tran's journey to find love appears to be getting underway smoothly. However, true to the Bachelor franchise's form, viewers can expect a fair share of tears and petty drama ahead!

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Although there are plenty of things to gossip and obsess about already, fans' focus swiftly pivoted from the dating show's impending drama when a heartfelt dedication appeared at the end of the first episode.

Following the coming attractions for the season, a tribute appeared on screen: "In Loving Memory, Stephanie Leifer: 1968-2024." Who is Stephanie? Here's what we know about her, including her involvement with The Bachelorette.

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'The Bachelorette' pays tribute to the late Stephanie Leifer.

On June 28, 2024, news broke that Stephanie Leifer, a longtime executive at ABC and ABC Signature, passed away at the age of 56. Multiple sources indicated that Stephanie died of cancer on Thursday, June 27.

Disney Entertainment Television issued a statement, noting that Stephanie was a "beloved member of the Disney Entertainment Television family for nearly three decades."

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The company continued, "She was a highly admired executive, whose creative impact was only matched by the relationships she nurtured both within the company and across the industry. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family, especially her husband and our colleague, Jonathan, and their two beautiful children, Amelia and Noah."

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Stephanie began her career at ABC in 1994 as an assistant in the TV movie department. By 2002, she had risen to the role of senior vice president of comedy development at ABC, a position she held until 2006.

Stephanie then moved to ABC Studios (now ABC Signature), where she took on the role of head of current programming in 2010. There, she oversaw hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Castle, among others. She held that position until she departed from the studio in May 2022.

Our thoughts are with Stephanie's family and friends during this difficult time.

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