Joanne Rogers, an accomplished pianist and the widow of the late Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood), has died. She was 92 years old.
Joanne Rogers Has Passed Away
According to reports, a cause of death and date of her passing have not been made public.
“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 said in a statement.
Joanne Rogers also aided the film producers who brought A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood to the screen. She was happy that Oscar-winner Tom Hanks portrayed her husband.
Joanne’s other credits include appearances on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in 1971 and in 1975, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Megyn Kelly Today, Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor. She and Fred appeared in five episodes of the couples’ game show Tattletales in 1976.
“Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts and a dear friend to everyone in our organization,” a representative for Fred Rogers Productions said. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joanne’s family and to the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her.”
Joanne and Fred were wed in 1952. He passed away in 2003. She gave director Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) access to her husband’s archives and signed off on her husband’s name and likeness being used so the film could be made. Joanne appeared in the film as a patron at a Chinese restaurant scene.
Born Joanne Byrd on March 9, 1928, in Jacksonville, Florida, she and Fred met when they attended Rollins College where they studied music. Joanne went on to earn her master’s in music at Florida State University. Joanne Rogers is survived by sons James and John, and three grandchildren. Entertainment Hub sends sincere condolences to Joanne Rogers’ family and loved ones at this difficult time.