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First Female President of a Broadcast Network, Jamie Tarses Passes Away Age 56

Jené Liebenberg
Feb 02, 2021
10:15 P.M.

After a cardiac episode in the fall of 2020, Jamie Tarses never regained consciousness and sadly passed away. There are many of her own shows that the TV executive was never able to see.


Jamie Tarses, known as a trailblazing television executive, died at the age of 56. Complications that arose after a cardiac event in the fall of 2020 were the cause of her death.

Tarses was the first female to lead a major network entertainment division when she became the president of ABC Entertainment at 32 and has had an immense impact on the industry.

Jamie Tarses at the Women In Film 2018 in Beverly Hills on June 13, 2018 | Getty Images

Jamie Tarses at the Women In Film 2018 in Beverly Hills on June 13, 2018 | Getty Images


The TV executive started as a graduate from Williams College in Massachusetts and made her entrance into the filming scene as an assistant on “Saturday Night Live.” She moved on to become a casting director but was soon back at NBC.

Her role as comedy development executive set her up to become ABC’s president after achieving immense success with shows like “Friends” and “Frasier.” Tarses agency shared the following in a statement:


"Jamie was a pioneer in every sense, breaking the glass ceiling of the television industry.”


The young Tarses' appointment as president at ABC caused some raised eyebrows. The media started zooming in on her professional and personal life to discover more about the ground-breaking woman.


Whilst operating under the spotlight, Tarses still managed to put out some amazing shows, including “Two Guys and a Girl,” that put actor Ryan Reynolds on the map. He credits Tarses for the beginning of his success.



Although Tarses was doing a fine job with the produced shows, the corporate politics resulted at the end of her run as president at ABC and launched the second half of her career.

The TV executive left her high profile job to start making a name for herself as a TV producer. Many big names in the industry have spoken up about her impact in the wake of her death. Dana Walden from Walt Disney Television said:

"Jamie's creative genius sparked culture-defining shows that have spanned decades. She gave an early voice to some of the industry's most prolific storytellers”



Tarses’s vocational achievements are very well known, and she is spoken highly of in the television production scene, but her family is what she loved above all else.

The TV executive leaves behind her partner Paddy Aubrey and two children Wyatt and Sloane. More than her career pursuits, Tarses truly cared about the joy and wellbeing of her family.


Clearly, a very dynamic and powerful woman, Tarses' death is a true loss. Her contribution towards more female representation in the industry and her determination to succeed speak to her strong character.

Tarses is not the only loss that Hollywood has had to endure in the short while we have been in 2021. Larry King, Dustin Diamond, and Cloris Leachman have all also passed away this year.

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