Jeffrey Ressner, a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist pal whom I first met when we worked together at the Hollywood Reporter back in ’83 and ’84 and whom I considered an actual, real-deal friend, has died of a heart attack. He was only 56, for God’s sake. I’m sure his friends would like to gather and share stories and raise a glass. Update: A memorial service for Ressner will be held on Tuesday, 7.8 at 11 am at the Burbank branch of Forest Lawn Mortuary.
The late Jeffrey Ressner, probably sometime in the late ’80s.
Jeff would call every so often or I would invite him to a screening or we’d do an occasional lunch. He was cautious, a stay-at-homer. He never wanted to drive east of the 405 and I started to give up inviting him to screenings because of this. But he read the column all the time, and we would talk about women a lot. The last time we met he slipped me some prescription pain pills. Jeff travelled to Asia quite a lot. After my initial trip to Vietnam in 2012 we compared extensive notes on the region. The last time I went to Vietnam (i.e., eight months ago) he asked me to buy him some coffee and cigars and bring them back. I told him to flat-out forget it — I wasn’t going to lug boxes of coffee and cigars through customs for him.
Jeff owned a beautiful, mid-sized home in West Los Angeles that he shared with his girlfriend, Rina Echavez. I must have visited 10 or 15 times over the last 20 years, if not more.
Jeff’s longest-running job was with Time magazine, where he held down a desk from ’93 through ’07. I would drop by his office from time to time when I was working at People from ’96 through ’98. He was a music guy initially, and a senior writer for Rolling Stone in the late ’80s. Next he became West Coast bureau chief for Us Weekly (or so it says here) before the Time gig. Later he was a staff correspondent for Politico. He also wrote for DGA Quarterly. He was a good writer and a very thorough reporter — a real pro.
I’m in shock about Jeff’s death. My deepest condolences to family and friends. I’m sure Rina is devastated and my heart goes out, but I’m sure that his friends, also, would like to know what happened and whether or not there will be a gathering of any kind. repeating: A memorial service for Ressner will be held on Tuesday, 7.8 at 11 am at the Burbank branch of the Forest Lawn Mortuary.