Jimmy Fallon’s mother Gloria died Saturday night at a New York City hospital, just one day after Fallon had unexpectedly canceled a taping of The Tonight Show. She was 68-years-old.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, a Fallon family spokesperson confirmed the sad news early Sunday morning, noting that Gloria Fallon died at New York University Langone Medical Center, surrounded by her son Jimmy and other loved ones. No specific cause of death was announced.
Hours before Jimmy Fallon’s mother’s death was confirmed, The Tonight Show house band drummer and co-frontman Questlove spoke to a TMZ reporter about the family emergency that required Fallon to cancel Friday night’s taping. As he was caught leaving the Director’s Guild in West Hollywood, the musician commented in a somber tone that “when you lose someone, it’s always sad,” in response to the reporter asking him how Fallon was doing.
Although Questlove did not name anyone in specific, the Inquisitr noted that his remarks were a cause of concern for fans, many of whom feared the worst in the light of reports claiming that Jimmy Fallon’s mother Gloria was seriously ill.
As noted in a 1999 profile from New York Magazine, Jimmy Fallon was extremely close to his family, while tending to poke fun at the fact that he and his sister were named after his parents, Jim and Gloria. The profile quoted Jimmy as saying that his mother was a “total square” who had gone as far as entering the Catholic sisterhood for a brief stint as a nun.
“She was a nun for about a month, but then she was like, ‘You know what? I didn’t get the calling!’ Ha! When did Sound of Music come out? I think there was like a thing where everyone wanted to be a nun.”
In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Gloria Fallon was described as the “hippieish daughter of a Brooklyn cop” who married a former doo-wop singer and Vietnam War veteran. The elder Jim and Gloria Fallon raised their namesake children in the New York town of Saugerties, and as Gloria described it, she and Jim Sr. were “very overprotective” parents to their two children, only allowing them to play with each other, but not with other neighborhood kids during their early childhood years.
Despite those overprotective beginnings, the younger Gloria Fallon described her parents in a separate interview as being “cool” enough to allow herself and Jimmy to invite their high school friends over for parties, and to focus on the consequences of activities such as cigarette smoking, rather than simply saying “you can’t smoke.”
By all accounts, Jim and Gloria Fallon were very supportive of their son’s career as a talk show host, with Rolling Stone noting that the couple would always make it a point to watch every episode of his shows, even if the episodes would air past their usual bedtime.
“Their son has begged them to watch it the next day on DVR, but they wave him off. They’ve seen every episode,” Rolling Stone wrote.
As of this writing, Jimmy Fallon has yet to issue a statement on his mother’s death.
[Featured Image by Loreen Sarkis/Getty Images]