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Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 08/ 5/2010

Adieu, Mary Hart: The 'ET' hostess is stepping down

By Jen Chaney

Mary Hart, heads into long "ET" good night. (AP)

Mary Hart -- the ageless, perpetually perky longtime hostess of "Entertainment Tonight" -- is stepping down from the show after almost three decades.

The Hollywood Reporter says Hart, 59, will step down after the upcoming season of "ET," which begins in September. No replacement has been named, but THR notes that Lara Spencer of "The Insider" is one possibility.

Hart may have seemed like a "Stepford Wife"-style automaton, what with that unmovable poof of blond hair, the permanently etched-on smile and that broadcaster-perfect vocal style. But the woman was an institution. She's like the Helen Thomas of entertainment reporters, but, you know, with more of a Barbie sheen and a less combative nature.

Without Mary Hart, who else will ask chirpily probing questions of Jennifer Love Hewitt?

Who will take the same position of sparkly authority on the red carpet at awards shows? (I saw Mary Hart at the Oscars earlier this year, and she did indeed command attention.)

Who else has a voice that can cause some people -- including Cosmo Kramer -- to have seizures?

The answer is no one. Mary Hart is irreplaceable. So if some of you decide to spend the rest of the day curled up in a dark corner while snacking on a box of Ho-Hos and listening to the melancholy, smooth-jazz version of the "Entertainment Tonight" theme, I completely understand.

By Jen Chaney  | August 5, 2010; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Next: Is it time for a Michael Keaton comeback?

Comments

So what's next, Leeza Gibbons? I know, Miley Cyrus!

Posted by: reddragon1 | August 5, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Rita Cosby would be perfect. She would be even better than Mary Hart. Rita Cosby was ten times better than Nancy Grace when she was sitting in for her just a few days ago on HLNTV. Some anchors are born and some are made. Rita and Mary are born anchors. There is a crop of anchors who became anchors after they were guests on Larry King during the O.J. trial, but they have no anchoring skills at all. Greta on Fox is a prime example. She has no anchoring skills whatsoever, and she hasn't improved with time. Rita Cosby is pure talent and she makes it look so easy. At 45, she is at her peak. And she is feminine to the core.

Posted by: Arshad_Sherif_MA_MEd | August 5, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Ageless"?

That's not ageless, that's layers of pancake makeup. I dare you to watch a closeup in HD.

Posted by: byoolin1 | August 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I remember when the show started and she hasn't changed. But good god I am old.

Posted by: DougG | August 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Not Rita Cosby. Her voice is worse that finger nails on a chalkboard.

Posted by: happy29 | August 5, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

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