Stephen Colbert Fights Tears In Moving Memorial Tribute To Executive Assistant Amy Cole

Stephen Colbert fought back tears as he ended Monday’s episode of CBS’ The Late Show with a black title card paying tribute to his late, longtime executive assistant Amy Cole, who had died the day before in New York following a brief illness.

Cole had been battling cancer, according to colleagues who posted tributes on social media, and had been undergoing treatment at Manhattan’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

More from Deadline

At the end of Monday’s episode, Colbert turned very serious as he prepared to say his goodnight. “That’s it for The Late Show,” the host said before appearing to struggle to hold back tears. Colbert stared into the camera as if trying to find words, tapped his desk, and then offered an abrupt “good night.”

After Colbert exited the set, the memorial title card appeared reading, “Dedicated to our dear friend Amy Cole, 1970-2024.”

The 53-year-old Cole, a Houston native, died March 31. According to her obituary, she left Houston for New York City in 2002, beginning a TV career as a production assistant and executive assistant on such shows as Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, The Colbert Report and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

RELATED: ‘SNL’ Photos: The Actors Who’ve Hosted The Show The Most

Her obituary states, “Working with Colbert for 16 years was more than a job to Amy. It gave her a purpose and provided an opportunity to showcase herself as an incredible teammate to everyone involved. She was adored by her entire Late Show work family, and she will be greatly missed.”

Survivors include her parents, two sisters and other extended family. “Her circle of friends is too numerous to begin to estimate,” the obituary states.

RELATED: 2024 Hollywood & Media Deaths Photo Gallery

“Words cannot measure how big a loss Amy Cole is to this world,” Late Show director and producer Jake Plunkett posted on X/Twitter. “F*ck cancer.”

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Agnes Academy, Radio Lollipop or


Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.