Stephen Colbert Overcome with Emotion Before On-Air Tribute to Staffer Who Died

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The news was revealed in the last few seconds of Monday's episode of 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'

<p>CBS</p> Stephen Colbert on

CBS

Stephen Colbert on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert '

Stephen Colbert is mourning the death of one of his colleagues.

The news was revealed in the last few seconds of the Monday, April 1 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert after the talk show host, 59, became emotional as he said, "That's it for the Late Show."

After telling his audience goodnight, a somber-looking Colbert walked off-screen, and a black title card read, "Dedicated to our dear friend Amy Cole, 1970-2024."

PEOPLE has reached out to a show rep for comment.

An obituary for Cole states that she worked with Colbert for 16 years. According to the obituary, Cole died "peacefully" on March 31 after a "brief illness." She was 53.

<p>Legacy</p> Amy Cole

Legacy

Amy Cole

"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," the obituary reads.

Fellow crew members mourned her death, including writer and producer Opus Moreschi, who remembered her on X, formerly Twitter, as 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," his post continued.

Director and producer Jake Plunkett wrote on X, "Words cannot measure how big a loss Amy Cole is to this world. F--- cancer."

<p>CBS</p> Stephen Colbert

CBS

Stephen Colbert

Plunkett remembered her as someone who "helped children with cancer" and he and Moreschi encouraged their followers to donate to the Radio Lollipop charitable organization.

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

Cole worked with the organization for over two decades and had a senior leadership role in recruiting volunteers.

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A fund that was set up with the organization under Cole's name has raised over $25,000 in donations.

"All donations received through this appeal will be shared equally between the Radio Lollipop Texas and New York chapters and will go directly to supporting the children that we work with as a gift in Amy’s name. This will help us to keep her amazing spirit alive in our work that she was so passionate about," Amy's fundraising page reads.

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