Cindi Rinehart, KOMO’s ‘Queen of the Soaps,’ dies

Jan 3, 2024, 9:47 AM | Updated: 3:31 pm

Image: Cindi Rinehart laughs during an episode of "Northwest Afternoon. The show aired on KOMO-TV f...

Cindi Rinehart laughs during an episode of "Northwest Afternoon. The show aired on KOMO-TV for 24 years. (Image courtesy of KOMO)

(Image courtesy of KOMO)

She was known for decades in Seattle as “The Queen of the Soaps,” now Cindi Rinehart, a longtime talent on KOMO’s “Northwest Afternoon,” died Tuesday morning.

A post on X, formerly known as Twitter, from her former co-host Elisa Jaffe reads: “It is very difficult to share that one of the most ‘alive’ people I’ve ever met is no longer with us. Cindi Rinehart passed away peacefully after a brief battle with esophageal and lung cancer.”

Rinehart was 75, KOMO’s obituary reads.

Her husband was getting ready to bring her home from the hospital to begin hospice care when she died.

Rinehart was the only personality on “Northwest Afternoon” with the show from the beginning. It aired from 1984 to 2008.

Her popular segment mostly focused on the latest happenings in daytime dramas. She would take calls from viewers who wanted to know what was coming up for some of the stars in their favorite soaps.

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Rinehart’s segments also featured in-studio interviews with popular actors and actresses, telephone interviews, and a couple of times, Cindi flew to Los Angeles for cameo appearances on the soaps themselves.

Everyone who worked at KOMO during Rinehart’s tenure has a story about her. KIRO Newsradio News Director Charlie Harger knew her professionally during his years at her station, calling her “a force of nature.”

“Cindi was hilarious,” Harger writes. “She’d always have a joke to tell off-air, and there was always something mischievous about her. She always asked about us and our lives off-air. She lived a full, wonderful life, and as someone who grew up watching her, I’m heartbroken.”

Even as Rinehart recovered from a heart attack in 2021, she maintained her flirtatious nature and sense of humor.

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In a post shared by South Kitsap Fire & Rescue that year, Rinehart described what it was like after her husband Jimmy Brooks called the paramedics to save her.

“These handsome men carried me on a stretcher through the snow,” Rinehart said. “I felt like Snow White.”

Jimmy and Cindi were married for 32 years.

No plans for a memorial have yet been announced.

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Cindi Rinehart, KOMO’s ‘Queen of the Soaps,’ dies