Joanne Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers who created “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and is portrayed on film by Tom Hanks, died on Thursday.
Joanne Rogers was 92.
Fred Rogers’ production company made the announcement on Twitter.
“Fred Rogers Productions is deeply saddened by the passing of Joanne Rogers. The loving partner of Fred Rogers for more than 50 years, she continued their shared commitment to supporting children and families after his death as chair of the board of Fred Rogers Productions,” the company wrote.
Joanne Rogers married Fred Rogers, who also was a minister in the Presbyterian Church, in 1952. She supported his work throughout his life. On it, Fred Rogers addresses many of society’s issues through the lens of helping children understand them better.
Fred Rogers hosted “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” from 1968 to 2001. Rogers died in 2003.
Joanne Rogers admits that they had a sense of quirkiness in their relationship. She said when they attended less-than-exciting events together, he would make her smile by farting in front of her. “He would just raise one cheek and he would look at me and smile,” she said, laughing, during an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2019.
Tom Hanks took on the role of playing Fred Rogers in the 2018 film, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” The title comes from the show’s theme song.
Two sons, James and John, and two grandchildren survive the couple, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.
H/T: New York Post