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Stephen Colbert Fights Back Tears In Emotional Tribute After Longtime Executive Assistant's Death

The 'Late Show' host briefly paused at the end of his show, appearing to fight back tears, before paying tribute to his executive assistant of 16 years, Amy Cole, after her death from cancer.

Stephen Colbert; Amy Cole

On Monday, an emotional Stephen Colbert honored his late executive assistant Amy Cole.

Cole, 53, had been battling cancer and undergoing treatment at Manhattan’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. She died on Sunday, the day before the Late Show taping.

At the end of the Monday's show, a somber-looking Colbert signed off:

“That’s it for 'The Late Show.'"

He then fought back tears as he barely formed a "good night."

As the host exited, a black title card appeared on the screen reading:

“Dedicated to our dear friend Amy Cole, 1970-2024.”

A photo of Cole accompanied the message.

You can watch below.

People on social media sent their condolences to Colbert as well as to the rest of Cole's loved ones.

According to her obituary, Cole - a Houston native - died "peacefully" on March 31 at the age of 53 after a "brief illness."

Cole left Houston for New York in 2002. She started her TV career as a production assistant and executive assistant on shows such as Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn,The Colbert Report and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Her obituary stated:

“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.”

She is survived by her parents, two sisters, extended family and a "circle of friends... too numerous to begin to estimate."

Other members of Cole's Late Show family took to social media to honor her, as well.

Writer and producer Opus Moreschi tweeted:

"Amy Cole was a beacon of light and joy and calm in the swirling chaos of our workplace."
"I am absolutely gutted that she’s gone."
"If you love somebody with cancer (or even if you don’t) please consider giving to Amy’s favorite charity in her name:"

Director and producer Jake Plunkett also tweeted a message in memory of Cole.

"Words cannot measure how big a loss Amy Cole is to this world."
"F**k cancer."
"One of Amy's passions was helping children with cancer. So, I ask you to help spread the light that she gave to this world by donating to the link below"


Radio Lollipop "is an international children’s charity providing care, comfort, play, and entertainment to sick children in hospital."

As of this writing, a fund set up in Cole's name has already raised more than $37,000.