Celebrities who spend a lot of time in the limelight don't often shine that light on their nearest and dearest family members, and there's usually one good reason for it or another. Thankfully, though, late night talk show icon David Letterman spent many years bringing out his lovely and charming mother Dorothy Mengering, who has gained her own fanbase over the years. It's with much sadness that we report Mengering passed away this week. She was 95 years old.
While no details were given about how things went down, Dorothy Mengering was confirmed to have passed away by a representative for David Letterman himself, according to THR. She will most definitely be missed by not only her family, but by pie-lovers everywhere, and she was one of the only people who would appear on The Late Show without any worries about Letterman getting too sarcastic.
Born on July 18, 1921, Dorothy Hofert marred Harry Joseph Letterman, Dave's father, in 1942, and they remained betrothed until his death in 1973. She later marred Hans P. Mengering in the early 1980s, and they were together until his death in 2013. TV fans around the country got to know her through her years of late night communications with her son, which started back in the 1980s when she would call into NBC's Late Night with David Letterman as "Dave's Mom," among other distinctions.
Dorothy Mengering's first on-screen appearance came in 1986 as part of Late Night's "Parents Night" segment, but her biggest claims to fame came when she began appearing on The Late Show as a commentator during the Winter Olympics. She was there in 1994, 1998 and 2002, and she managed to lock down interviews with Hillary Clinton and Nancy Kerrigan, for a pair of famous examples.
And though she was also known for showing up to present the iconic Top Ten lists -- one of her first memorable appearances involved Letterman calling her up and making her list ten things that were in her refrigerator at the time -- Dorothy Mengering was arguably best known for her pies that got showcased during the holiday-focused episodes. Letterman would call her up via satellite and play "Guess Mom's Pies," for which he would try to figure out which desserts his mother had prepared that year.
The segments proved popular enough that Dorothy Mengering actually published her own cookbook in 1996, called Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom, which was filled with recipes inspired by her family members. And yes, quite a few of those recipes were for various kinds of pies.
David Letterman's replacement at The Late Show, Stephen Colbert, took to social media with his own kind words about the former host's loss.
We at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Dorothy Mengerling in their time of mourning. We'll be baking a pie or two in her honor.