Willard Scott, whose exuberant personality and love of honoring fans who reached 100 made him a popular television icon, died this morning at the age of 87. His death has been confirmed by Al Roker, the other host on the Today show. No cause of death was given.
« We lost a loved one of our @todayshow family this morning, » Roker shared on Instagram. “Willard Scott died peacefully at the age of 87, surrounded by his family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife Paiis. He really was my second father and is where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his time, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone like him. «
Scott joined Today in 1980. He began his 65-year career at NBC in 1950 as a page at the affiliate station in Washington, DC. Scott’s broadcast career began after his Graduated from American University in Washington.
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In 1955 he began hosting the Joy Boys radio show on NBC radio station WRC. He stayed on the program until it ended in 1974.
During the 1960s, he hosted children’s television shows and appeared on the WRC with a variety of characters, including Bozo the Clown. Scott also had the honor of being the first person to play Ronald McDonald and appear in commercials in the Washington area from 1963.
Scott became the weather service for NBC’s local channel 4 in Washington DC. In March 1980, he switched to the network, replacing Bob Ryan as the weatherman on Today.
Scott was not content with just giving the forecast, but was known for such stunts as the weather while disguised as Boy George the singer was at the height of his fame. He also disguised himself as a giant cupid on Valentine’s Day, in a barrel on the day tax was due, and as a groundhog to celebrate Groundhog Day. He also dressed up as Brazilian singer and actress Carmen Miranda on an episode of Today in 1983 to secure a $ 1,000 donation to the USO. « People said I was a joker for this, » he said The New York Times in that 1987 interview. “Well, I’ve been a buffoon all my life. That’s what I do. ”
The tradition of honoring those who turned 100 began in 1983. Scott complied with a request from a viewer to wish his mother a happy 100th birthday. That tradition lives on.
Scott has become an all-purpose symbol of fun throughout his career. He dressed up as Santa Claus at the National Tree-Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C. for several years in the 1980s. and at several events at the White House. From 1987 to 1997, he co-hosted NBC coverage of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and had a recurring role as Mr. Poole on the sitcom The Hogan Family.
In 1996, Scott semi-retired and was supported on TODAY by Al Replaced Roker, who however occasionally stood in for the next 10 years. He officially retired from television in 2015, finishing a 35-year run with TODAY.
He was married to wife Mary Dwyer Scott from 1959 until her death in 2002. They had two children. He leaves behind his wife Paris Keena, whom he married in 2014.
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