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Thursday, February 27, 2003
Fred Rogers, host of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,' Dies at 74

(condensed from NYT article: may require free registration;):

PITTSBURGH Fred Rogers, who gently invited millions of children to be his neighbor as host of the public television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for more than 30 years, died of cancer early Thursday. He was 74. Rogers died at his Pittsburgh home, said family spokesman David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely on the show. Rogers had been diagnosed with stomach cancer sometime after the holidays, Newell said.

Rogers composed his own songs for the show and began each episode in a set made to look like a comfortable living room, singing "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood," as he donned sneakers and a zip-up cardigan. His message remained a simple one throughout the years, telling his viewers to love themselves and others. On each show, he would take his audience on a magical trolley ride into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where his puppet creations would interact with each other and adults. Rogers did much of the puppet work and voices himself.

Rogers taught children how to share, how to deal with anger and even how not to fear the bathtub by assuring them they'll never go down the drain. During the Persian Gulf War, Rogers told youngsters that "all children shall be well taken care of in this neighborhood and beyond -- in times of war and in times of peace," and he asked parents to promise their hildren they would always be safe.

Rogers' gentle manner was the butt of some comedian's jokes. Eddie Murphy parodied him on "Saturday Night Live" in the 80's with his "Mister Robinson's Neighborhood," a routine Rogers found funny and affectionate.
Official PBS site that includes songs, pictures, and stories.
IMDB cast list for Mr. Rogers' neighborhood.
Lengthy Capt. Kangaroo vs. Mr. Rogers grudge match site.
About.com has a nice collection of links.
Nice Salon.com article from 1999.
Click on sound collage for an, uh, sound collage. Kembrew calls it "Mr. Rogers - Satan = Elvis"
    requires RealPlayer, which means I haven't heard it yet
Another collage from Escape Mechanism
Jack Bowman's Mr. Hitler's Neighborhood performance piece uses the show's format. Creepy.
AlterNet article: Goodbye, Mister Rogers
GetYourWarOn has a nice tribute

G'bye Mr. Rogers; we'll miss you.
2/27/2003 07:34:40 AM
portrait by George Strassburger