PITTSBURGH, Pa. (NEXSTAR) — Joanne Rogers, the widow of the iconic children’s television personality Fred Rogers, has died at 92, according to the CBS affiliate it Pittsburgh.
Joanne helped carry out her husband’s legacy of impacting the lives of children after he died in 2003. Fred Rogers was the star of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” which aired nationwide on PBS stations.
“When Fred died, she wasn’t going to step in to be Mister Rogers, but she was going to step in,” Bill Isler, former president and CEO of Fred’s company for almost three decades, told the Los Angeles Times in a 2019 interview.
The couple was married for 50 years.
Joanne was visible throughout the media promotion for the 2019 film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” where Tom Hanks brought her husband to life on the big screen. She even had a brief cameo in the movie.
During the media blitz, she explained that her husband wasn’t a “saint” as some people suggest — and that he had to work hard to treat people well and serve as a role model for children.
“As people say, he walked the walk,” she explained.
According to KDKA, she was presented with the George Romero Legacy Award at Steeltown Entertainment 2019 Elly Awards for preserving her husband’s legacy while inspiring young filmmakers.
According to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4, she had been in the hospital for a few days. Her cause of death is unknown.