Joe Stapleton, a veteran Boston traffic reporter and actor who appeared in several films including Spotlight, Manchester by the Sea and Mystic River among others, has died. Stapleton died suddenly on New Year’s Day, according to WBZ News Radio, where he had worked until his death. He was 55.
Stapleton was one of the original “Traffic on the 3s” reporters at WBZ and appeared on WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show as Major Dick. He also worked as a traffic reporter for WBZ-TV Channel 4 and WHDH-TV Channel 7.
An avid movie fan and actor, Stapleton appeared in several films, beginning with 2003’s Oscar-winning Mystic River. He went on to play a police officer in Spotlight, a fire marshall who speaks with Casey Affeck’s character after a devastating fire in Manchester by the Sea, and he had small roles in Edge of Darkness and R.I.P.D., among others. He also appeared in Hulu’s Castle Rock.
“Joe was our overnight traffic reporter here at WBZ,” said Bill Flaherty, WBZ Operations Director. “He never walked through the door without a smile and friendly greeting for everyone he met.” Mike Hsu, Producer for The Hill-Man Morning Show at WAAF added: “he was a funny and kind gentleman.”