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Entertainment Weekly


Jenny Boeth in memoriam: We say goodbye to one of our own

Courtesy of Chris Whipple

Posted on

Jenny Boeth — pictured above with her son, Sam Whipple — passed away hours before the solar eclipse at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer. And like the celestial event, she was a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. As EW’s deputy chief of reporters, her job was to make sure the magazine was error-free and to keep us accountable to you. Fact-checking is by far some of the most difficult work in journalism. It involves “re-reporting” a story, and oftentimes an article’s writer isn’t too pleased to be proved incorrect. But Jenny quickly won the respect and love of everyone on staff after she started in 1999. She was upbeat, kind, incredibly smart, and tenacious — she fought cancer like no one I’ve ever seen, insisting on working almost till the day she died. Jenny toiled behind the scenes to make sure everyone else shined, and all the journalists who have worked with her during her tenure owe her an enormous debt of gratitude. (Below, you’ll find some tributes from her colleagues.) We will miss her like hell and are incredibly grateful for her life. — Henry Goldblatt

Jenny was tireless and meticulous, warm and generous. And if she were here right now fact-checking this page, she’d find at least three pesky mistakes that no one else caught, and then go home and stay up worrying that she’d somehow missed another one. You caught ’em all, Jenny. Sleep tight. — Dan Snierson

I would guess Jenny stopped me looking like an idiot in print a million times. That number seems right to me and is also one I’m giving in the hope she will somehow steal up by my shoulder and politely suggest I shouldn’t be “guessing” about figures like that. — Clark Collis

She was the most passionate seeker of absolute truth of anyone I — or anyone at EW — have ever known. That made her a superb researcher. What made her a superb woman was something else: a wicked and reliable sense of humor, an unerring interest in the happiness and emotional health of her co-workers, a laugh you couldn’t hear and not join. — Sean Smith

Thank you, “big sister” and strong NYC girl, for your friendship and invaluable guidance, and for making a positive impact on the world in so many ways. — Sabrina McFarland

On the nights that we put an issue to bed, it can go very late. With Jenny, there were no cutoffs. Often you’d get home at 2 a.m. and there’d be an apologetic message waiting: “Are we 100 percent positive of this?” Sometimes it was maddening. Usually it was hilarious. She couldn’t sleep until she was sure she’d nailed down every last fact. She never asked for thanks, but she made every writer look better than they are. So, belatedly, thank you, Jenny. — Chris Nashawaty

Jenny never had a byline, but if you’re a fan of Lost or The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones — or any other big TV show from the past decade — then you’ve read Jenny’s work. However, as much as she meant professionally, she meant even more as a friend. I’ll miss those late nights laughing with her about pop culture minutiae and geeking out on our favorite fan theories. But I’ll never forget them. — Dalton Ross

She made everything I wrote better, including almost every feature on our shared passion, Lost. Her care for our work was matched by her care for her colleagues. She was a huge support to me and my family during my wife’s fight with cancer, and it pains me that we’ve now lost Jenny to this vile robber, too. — Jeff Jensen

We argued constantly. Wait, let me rephrase that: I complained steadily and she just listened. I can’t imagine that Jenny routinely woke up and said, “Fact-checking Lynette’s stories is the true highlight of my day.” But Jenny — the blithe, scrupulous, chummy ‘ol girl on the other end of the phone — ended up being the highlight of mine. She asked about my kids. We talked about hers. We bitched about our age. She bemoaned her health. And then we got back to business: me complaining, her listening. I loved that broad. — Lynette Rice