Ronni Chasen's spirit alive in Golden Globe nominations
She wasn't there to hear the news or congratulate her clients, but Ronni Chasen was very much present at Tuesday's Golden Globe nominations.

The veteran publicist and awards consultant, who was slain on Nov. 16, worked on the successful Golden Globe campaigns of a broad array of films honored by the voters of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. -- including "Burlesque," whose premiere Chasen was returning from when she was fatally shot in Beverly Hills.

"This would have been a great morning for Ronni as the many Golden Globe nominations she garnered for her clients, once again, truly demonstrates what a force she was in the awards race," said publicist Vivian Mayer-Siskind, a longtime friend of the 64-year-old Chasen.

Chasen's clients, whose prize prospects were touted by the publicist's business, Chasen & Co., and through the efforts of awards teams at several studios that worked with Chasen, collected more Golden Globe nominations than the leading film, "The King's Speech," which had seven selections.

Directly or indirectly, Chasen was involved in at least 18 film nominations.

"That Ronni Chasen is the most nominated person in the Golden Globes--I think that is beautiful," said songwriter Diane Warren, who was represented by Chasen. "Beautiful, and also horrible, in that she's not here to see it."

Her efforts were most dramatically visible in her chosen field for the last several years, original song and score. Of the 10 combined nominees in the two categories, Chasen had ties to all but three of the finalists.

Three of Chasen's closest and most prominent personal clients, producer Richard Zanuck, composer Hans Zimmer and songwriter Warren, all were shortlisted for a Golden Globe, which will be handed out in a Jan. 16 ceremony.

The 81 voters in the HFPA nominated Zanuck's "Alice in Wonderland" for best comedy or musical, Zimmer for his "Inception" score and Warren for the "Burlesque" song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me."

"I wish that I could have picked up the phone and she was on the line congratulating me," said Zanuck, who worked with Chasen since 1982's "The Verdict." "She would have been so thrilled."

At a time when many of her peers focused their publicity and marketing efforts on A-list stars, Chasen decided to turn her business to so-called "below the line" talent--composers, cinematographers, songwriters and the like.

"She didn't try to go after celebrities," said Kathie Berlin, a longtime publicist friend. "She said, 'Who doesn't get represented who wins Academy Awards?' So she went below the line. She fell in love with doing music about five years ago, and I don't think she had any competition.

"She was dedicated to the people she had, and they were dedicated to her," Berlin said. "She was relentless. Once she worked on something, particularly something she loved, she never stopped."

Chasen represented a number of classically trained musicians best known for symphonic scores--composers such as Zimmer, whose professional relationship with Chasen lasted for 21 years. But recently, Chasen's newer clients worked in a diverse range of musical styles.

Among this year's Golden Globe nominees, she had collaborated with India's A.R. Rahman, who was recognized for his work on "127 Hours," and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and his composing partner Atticus Ross for their "The Social Network" score.

"The mystery of Ronni isn't about her murder. It's about how varied her interests were," Zimmer said. "Ronni was on a mission for all composers--to get them recognized. She was just as much of an artist as what we were doing--and just as much of a communicator."

Said Warren: "She made a believer out of people. And there will never be another Ronni, never anyone like that."

Rahman, who worked with Chasen in promoting his Oscar-winning score for "Slumdog Millionaire," said she not only had a passion for music, but also helped introduce Rahman to Hollywood, without making him feel overwhelmed.

"She played a very important role," Rahman said. "Sometimes you can't comprehend reality. And this is one of those cases."