The death was confirmed by a family spokesperson in a statement to the press: “Jimmy Fallon’s mother, Gloria, died peacefully on Saturday. Jimmy was at his mother’s bedside, along with her loved ones, when she passed away at NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC. Our prayers go out to Jimmy and his family as they go through this tough time.”
No word yet on cause of death, memorial services or this week’s Tonight taping schedule. Her hospitalization following what’s been reported as a brief illness caused NBC to cancel the Nov. 3 Tonight taping, with a rerun airing instead.
Fallon’s friend and late-night rival Stephen Colbert offered his condolences in a poignant message:
Though not as much an on-screen presence as David Letterman’s mother, Gloria Fallon was nonetheless a familiar and genial subject to Tonight fans. Fallon recently tweeted that he and his mother had spoken on the phone three times in one day, only to have Gloria say, “We don’t talk enough.”
NBC’s Today show tweeted a clip from from Fallon’s first Tonight episode, in which he thanked his mom and dad for their support.
“Thank you for being here,” Fallon said that night. “I wish I could have gotten you better seats, but it’s a very hot show, Dad, a very hot show. I hope you’re proud of me. I know you’re proud of me. Remember how proud you were when I graduated high school? That was a big deal, that was giant. … Anyway, I’m happy to say they’re here. Thanks for being here, you guys. I love you.”
Today also noted that when his book Everything is Mama was released last month, he told Today‘s Hoda Kotb that his very first word was “mama.”
Last May, Fallon tweeted:
In a 2004 New York magazine article, Fallon described his happy childhood with mom Gloria, dad Jim and sister Gloria. “My dad was in Vietnam, and he was in a doo-wop group,” Fallon said. “My mom was like a total square; she wasn’t allowed to leave her stoop in Brooklyn. She was a nun for about a month, but then she was like, ‘You know what? I didn’t get the calling!’ Ha!”