Willard Scott, Elizabeth Bader, a spokeswoman for NBC, confirmed to USA TODAY that the iconic “Today” show, passed away Saturday morning at the age of 87.
Al Roker “Today” Share the news on instagramDescribing Willard as “a man of his time, the ultimate broadcaster.” The cute Scott was known as the show’s featured weatherman until he announced his near-total retirement in 1996, when Rucker took over the position.
“We lost a beloved member of the @todayshow family this morning,” Rucker said on Saturday. “Willard Scott passed away peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his two daughters, Sally and Marie and his beautiful wife, Paris. He truly was my second father and I am now where I am today because of his kind spirit….never quite like him.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Today for comment.
She also paid tribute to Katie Couric on Twitter.
“I am sad that my beloved Willard Scott is gone. He played such a big role in my life and was as warm, loving, and generous as off-camera as he was. Willard, you didn’t make it to the front of the Smucker jar, but you changed the lives of so many for the better.” chirp Next to an old picture of them.
In 2015, the NBC weatherman officially retired from “Today” after 35 years. During his time on the show, Scott was famous for using jelly smoker jars to wish a happy birthday to viewers 100 years of age or older, and had the distinction of being the first person to play Ronald MacDonald, appearing in commercials in the Washington area beginning in 1963.
Prior to joining “Today”, Scott hosted the radio show “Joy Boys” on NBC radio station WRC from 1955 to 1974.
He is survived by his wife Paris Kenna, whom he married in 2014, as well as his two daughters, Marie and Sally.
Contributing: Maria Puente