David Letterman‘s mother, Dorothy Mengering, died on Tuesday. She was 95.
Mengering made regular guest appearances on the “Late Show” when her son was the host, often from her Indiana home while baking in the kitchen for a popular holiday segment called “Guess Mom’s Pies.”
Her passing was confirmed via Twitter by Barbara Gaines, an executive producer on the CBS talk show whose connection to Letterman dates back to 1980.
Current CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert also offered his sympathy at the sad news, writing: “I’m so sorry to hear of Dorothy Mengering’s death, and so grateful that Dave shared her with us.”
Often simply known to viewers as “Dave’s Mom,” Mengering was born in Linton, Indiana, to a family of German descent. Her first cousin is the grandmother of the model and actress Rebecca Romijn.
She spent a year at Indiana University before marrying Harry Joseph Letterman in 1942, a florist with whom she had three children: Jan, David and Gretchen. Dorothy worked as a church secretary and after Harry died, she went on to marry Hans Mengering, a retired engineer and World War II veteran.
Having made her first appearance in February 1986 on NBC’s “Late Night With Dave Letterman,” Mengering was a reoccurring face on her son’s NBC and CBS shows for several years, including as a commentator for the Winter Olympics in 1994, 1998 and 2002. She even interviewed ice skater and future “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Nancy Kerrigan.
“The positive response to my appearances on David’s show has nothing to do with my amateur abilities as a broadcaster. People enjoy seeing a mother and son together,” Mengering wrote in her 1996 cookbook, “Home Cookin’ With Dave’s Mom” according to the New York Daily News. “It’s that simple.”
David Letterman turns 70 on Wednesday.
Watch video of Mengering reading the Top 10 on the “Late Show” in 2005.