Willard Scott, Longtime Weatherman on TODAY, Dies at 87

by Joe Rutland

Sad news for Outsiders who grew up watching weatherman Willard Scott on NBC’s “TODAY”. Scott died on Saturday at 87.

Current “TODAY” weatherman Al Roker confirmed Scott’s death in a story from the TV show on Saturday.

Scott is survived by second-wife Paris Kenna, whom he married in 2014. He had two children in his first marriage to Mary Dwyer Scott. They stayed married from 1959 until her death in 2002.

Willard Scott had a lengthy stay with NBC that totaled more than six decades. That included more than three decades with the venerable morning news program.

“We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning,” Roker wrote in an Instagram post. “Willard Scott passed peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris. He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him.”

Willard Scott Loved Celebrating 100th Birthdays on Morning Show

Fans who remember him from “TODAY” will recall his penchant for sharing pictures of men and women celebrating their 100th birthdays. It was a Willard Scott staple.

While the morning show regularly stayed in its Rockefeller Center studios, Willard Scott hit the road a lot. His morning forecasts all over the United States were a big draw.

‘I just love people,” he said in a 1987 interview with The New York Times. ”A lot of speakers on the talk circuit leave right afterward. I do a lot of schmoozing. I’m like a dog. You just open the door and I go, ‘rrrr, rrrr,’ and then I lick everybody’s face.’

Some Outsiders who grew up around Washington, D.C., might remember him playing Bozo the Clown on local television.

Another addition to Scott’s clown characters was Ronald McDonald. He was the first person to play Ronald back in 1963 in the D.C. area.

Late TV Weatherman Started Career in Washington, D.C.

Willard Scott, born on March 7, 1934, in Alexandria, Va., started his broadcasting career began in the 1950s.

He started hosting the “Joy Boys” radio show on NBC radio station WRC in 1955. Willard Scott stayed with that program until 1974 when it ended.

In the 1970s, Willard Scott was a fixture on WRC TV. But in March 1980, NBC called for him as he replaced Bob Ryan on “TODAY”.

He would dress up as Carmen Miranda and even Boy George while giving the weather forecast. Willard Scott knew people would question his taste. He dressed up like Boy George in 1983 as Scott sought a $1,000 donation to the USO.

In 2015, Scott retired after his tenure on “TODAY” lasted 35 years.