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Mary Hart: Entertainment Tonight's Queen Stepping Down

Mary Hart J. Vespa/WireImage.com

My friend Andrew loves to remind that when we were about 13 years old, I once pointed to the television and said, "I'm going to be on that show one day!"

That show was Entertainment Tonight. Its host? Mary Hart.

A little more than 20 years later not only had I appeared on ET to talk about one celebrity news story or another as an editor at Us Weekly, but I was actually working there. I had moved from New York City to Los Angeles about six years ago to help launch ET's spinoff, The Insider...

Seeing Mary Hart walk by my desk in the newsroom for the first time was surreal. It was Mary friggin' Hart. She is and will always be a television icon. And just moments ago, Entertainment Tonight announced Hart would be stepping down after 29 years. Her final year will be ET's upcoming 30th season.

Shortly after I began my stint at The Insider, Mary approached my desk. I looked up. She smiled, "Marc, what's going on? What's the gossip? You know everything."

Mary Hart asking me for celebrity gossip? Where was I? What was going on? I felt like I had walked into the Twilight Zone.

What I told her, I'm not sure. It's sort of a blur. But I do remember picking up the phone when she walked away.

I called Andrew.

"You are not going to believe this," I whispered, "Mary Hart just me asked me to tell her what gossip I knew!"

Andrew laughed.

So, Mary, call me anytime! I'll be happy to tell you everything I know. It's the least I could do.

Follow Marc Malkin on Facebook and Twitter.

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In other television news, Nigel Lythgoe makes it official—he's going back to American Idol. Will Paula Abdul join him? Get the latest here.

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