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Former ABC Exec Stephanie Leifer Dies at 56

Former ABC exec Stephanie Leifer, who spent nearly three decades at Disney TV in various capacities before departing in 2022, has died. She was 56. During her long career at ABC, Leifer was part of some of the biggest and most critically-acclaimed shows in the network’s history. Those include productions like “Lost,” “Ugly Betty,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Private Practice.”

“Stephanie was a beloved member of the Disney Entertainment Television family for nearly three decades, and our hearts are broken by the devastating news of her passing,” the company said in a statement. “She was a highly admired executive, whose creative impact was only matched by the relationships she nurtured both within the company and across the industry. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family, especially her husband and our colleague, Jonathan, and their two beautiful children, Amelia and Noah.” 

Leifer exited her role as executive vice president of current programming at ABC Signature in May 2022. That marked the end of Leifer’s time across both the studio and ABC, where she originally began working in 1994.

Leifer switched over to the studio side in 2006. In her role as executive vice president of current programming, she oversaw all current programming at the studio, which included shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” at ABC.

Leifer began her career at ABC as an assistant in the TV movie department. From there, she worked her way up to an executive position in the current programming, drama development and comedy development. Prior to joining ABC Signature (then ABC Studios) she was senior vice president of comedy development for the ABC network. She had been the head of current for ABC Studios/ABC Signature since 2010. She has also worked for WGBH-TV in Boston as well as for Writers and Artists Agency prior to her time at ABC.

There will be a private funeral, with a celebration of life scheduled in the near future. Donations in Leifer’s honor can be made to CASA of Los Angeles, where she was a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children. 

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